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.