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NPR: Interviewing the Interviewer: William Ferris ’64 Returns to the Headlines, Among "Voices of Writers and Artists"

The Storied SouthRenowned cultural historian William Ferris '64 is back with a new set of interviews, The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists. He was interviewed on NPR's Weekend Edition and for [Wilmington, N.C.] about the recently released book.

"What this really does is to look at what is called contested memory, the different memories of the South in black and white worlds," Ferris told NPR's Celeste Headlee. "Eudora Welty grew up in a family in which books were everywhere, and she was encouraged to read. Alice Walker grew up in a family that encouraged her to read, but had to beg, borrow and steal books from white families to bring home for the children to learn to read. And yet they both began to write about the South."

"William Ferris has been a very lucky man," writes Ben Steelman for a Sunday piece about Ferris. "When he was an undergraduate at Davidson College, he managed to persuade Eudora Welty to come to campus for a reading and got to guide her around campus.... In all (his professional) roles, he had countless opportunities to chat with Southerners from all walks of life."

Hear or read highlights of Headlee's interview on

Read Steelman's piece in the StarNewsOnline.