Back Home: Journeys Through Mobile
Book: Back Home: Journeys Through Mobile , by Roy Hoffman, ISBN10: 081735431X, ISBN13: 9780817354312, University of Alabama Press, January 2007, Paperback
In Back Home: Journeys through Mobile, Roy Hoffman tells stories -- through essays, feature articles, and memoir -- of one of the South's oldest and most colorful port cities. Many of the pieces grew out of Hoffman's work as writer-in-residence for his hometown newspaper, the Mobile Register, a position he took after working in New York City for 20 years as a journalist, fiction writer, book critic, teacher, and speech writer. Other pieces were first published in the New York Times, Southern Living, Preservation, and other premier publications. Together, this collection comprises a long, second look at the Mobile of Hoffman's childhood and the city it has since become.
Throughout, Hoffman is concerned with stories and their enduring nature. As he writes, "When buildings are leveled, when land is developed, when money is spent, when our loved ones pass on, when we take our places a little farther back every year on the historical time-line, what we have still are stories."
After 21 years in New York City, Roy Hoffman (Almost Family) returned with his wife and daughter to his hometown of Mobile, Ala. Back Home: Journeys Through Mobile is a collection of his writings feature stories, memoirs, essays about the town, many of which were previously published in the Mobile Register. Hoffman interviews many of Mobile's distinctive characters, like Joseph Langan, a longtime Mobile mayor now in his 80s, who was once vilified as a Communist by whites who thought he was too sympathetic to blacks, and a racist by blacks who didn't agree. Herbert Aaron Sr., father of the great home-run hitter Hank Aaron, tells Hoffman why so many great baseball players are Mobile sons. These stories were written to explore what Hoffman calls a "sense of place," and they eloquently answer the question that so troubles the author upon his return: "[W]hat's left to tell me where I am?" Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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