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Long Time Leaving

Dispatches from Up South

List Price: $15.95

January 1, 2009 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 400 Pages | ISBN 9781582434582
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"Blount might well be the finest American humorist since James Thurber." —Houston Chronicle

In this acerbic, eminently quotable book, humorist Roy Blount Jr.—who was raised in the South but now makes his home in Massachusetts—focuses on his own dueling loyalties across the great American divide. Scholarly, raunchy, biting, and affable, Roy takes on topics ranging from chicken fingers to yellow dog Democrats to Elvis’s toes, as well as sharing some experiences of his own: chatting with Ray Charles, meeting an Okefenokee alligator, imagining Faulkner’s tennis game, and being swept up, sort of, in the filming of Nashville. His yarns, analyses, and flights of fancy transcend all standard shades of Red, Blue, and in between.

Maybe Blount’s sidesplitting, irreverent musings won’t end our tacit Civil War at long last, but they do clarify, or aptly complicate, divisive delusions on both sides of the longstanding national rift. Long Time Leaving is a comic ode to American variety and a droll assault on complacency both North and South—a glorious union of diverse pieces reshaped and expanded into an American classic, from one of the most definitive and esteemed humorists of our time.

ROY BLOUNT JR. has written nineteen other books, most recently Alphabet Juice. He is a panelist on NPR’s “Wait, Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!”, a columnist for the Oxford American, a contributing editor to The Atlantic Monthly, and president of the Authors Guild. He grew up in Decatur, Georgia, and now lives in western Massachusetts. For more information, visit


“Blount’s work is unflaggingly passionate and provocative over a range of subjects, including food, politics and all things Southern…[His] energetic, unpredictable essays are sure-fire fan-pleasers, and fine discoveries for newcomers.” —Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Blount might well be the finest American humorist since James Thurber.” —Houston Chronicle

“Blount is the best. He can be literate, uncouth and soulful all in one sentence.”—Garrison Keillor, author of Lake Wobegon Days

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