Black Rose Writing • $15.00
A memoir about tobacco, mules, snake-handling preachers, Coca-Cola, guns, baseball,
Baptists, Elvis, haints, PTSD, BBQ and Arrowheads
Memory Cards: Portraits From A Rural Journey, is the debut book from North Carolina author Michael Brantley, packs a lot into its pages about growing up in Eastern North Carolina.
There is plenty to see, hear and smell, from the oppressive heat and pungent smell of row upon row of tobacco, to the mobile library that brought air conditioning and the aroma of paper, glue and binding each week of the summer. The author grew up in a functional family, but with different interests than his siblings, particularly ones that offered unknown prospects.
As the road from the farm widens, readers encounter firebrand preachers, snake-handling churches, guns, baseball, Baptists, Coca-Cola, Elvis, suicides, mysterious deaths, PTSD, houses inhabited by haints, barbecue, tea cookies, cornbread, fishing, arrowheads, ice hockey and basketball.
“I’m really excited to get this book out,” Brantley said. “So few books are out there speaking to the good, and sometimes difficult aspects of living in the eastern half of this state. Hopefully this will strike a chord with some, educate others, but be an enjoyable read for all.”
Pre-release reviews of the book, released by Black Rose Writing of Texas, have been positive.
“Brantley revisits his own past in articulate, unflinching prose, telling fine stories with a sharp eye for what remains essential and worth saving,” said James McKean, author of Homestand and the award winning We Are the Bus.
Legendary Raleigh News & Observer columnist and author Dennis Rogers, who Brantley lists as an early influence on his writing, offered praise as well.
“Michael Brantley has the eyes of a camera and the soul of a poet. Memory Cards is a gentle and memory-jogging visit to a time and a place just down the road that is fading all too quickly. Along the way, he’ll make you smile, nod, try to swallow that lump in your throat and say more than once ‘Damn, I wish I’d written that.’ Savor this book.”