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South of Haunted Dreams: A Memoir Paperback – September 15, 1997

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks (September 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805055746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805055740
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,297,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Eddy Harris isn't your everyday tourist. His travels almost always have a purpose and that purpose is to write about not only what he sees, but what he feels. "-USA Today

"One of the few recent books that deserve the overused adjective 'important.' "-Outside

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 1997
Format: Paperback
Eddy L. Harris is the best modern-day "travel" writer there is, bar none. He has gone down the Mississippi in a canoe, trekked across Africa and even written a book about his explorations, both internal and external, of today's Harlem.

Harris is a writer who happens to be black. He doesn't want people to judge him because he's black any more than because he has a beard or is tall, but blackness is part of him, and as a writer he seems to feel an urge to connect with what it means to be black in America.

In this poetic, fascinating account, Harris tours the Southern states of the U.S. with his own peronal twist - he rides a motorcycle. This way, as is not the case with a car trip, he can connect with the land and the people as he travels; he is closer to them. Of course, this means they have no choice but to see him, too.
What Harris encounters and comes to find out on his trip is surprising, at times sad and at times wonderful. The writing is skillful in the extreme: although non-fiction, Harris manages to arrange his experiences and his ruminations about them in such a way as to form a novel-like construction, with buildup, climax and denouement.

This memoir is emminently readable and ultimately revealing about race, the South and America. For anyone even remotely interested in those topics, this is without doubt a must read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aberjhani on November 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
In SOUTH OF HAUNTED DREAMS, Eddy L. Harris gives his readers an exceptional self-portrait of a black man wrestling with the emotional, political, and genetic legacies of American slavery. From the outset, Harris makes it clear that he is a man not merely obsessed with anger toward racial injustice but possessed by the demons of fear and rage, fear for his physical safety in the supposedly New South as well of fear of his own reactions to any racial conflicts he might experience journeying through the South. Hopping on his BMW.K75s motorcycle, Harris zips through Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and other places in search of racists, downtrodden African-Americans, and spiritual balm for his tormented soul. What he finds are a lot of people as confused about race, life in general, and their own individuality as he is. As he approaches both Blacks and Whites in his quest to understand the nature of racism in the United States, Harris renders some engaging sketches of individuals who share with the author both their time and the folksy wisdom for which the South is known. Yet, as entertaining as these vignettes are, it is perhaps a serious flaw that Harris fails in SOUTH OF HAUNTED DREAMS to make a definitive distinction between what might called the lesser evil of individual racism and the greater evil of institutional racism. For whereas the former sometimes manifests as nothing more than a bad attitude, the latter often results in the kind of economic and political deprivation that can tear a people or a country to moral shreds. For Harris, the South seems to be both a collective and an individual state of mind. And for that reason, the book reads in turn like a travelogue, social criticism, philosophy, "Blackamerican History," and personal memoir. It is mostly as personal memoir that it can and should be appreciated.


author of THE WISDOM OF W. E. B. DU BOIS

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stacey Dawn Brody on February 21, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hesitate to use this term to describe an author because I read so many books by great writers, but Eddy L. Harris is brilliant. His writing is extremely accessible and also engaging. He writes like a friend while also imparting wisdom. For anyone who's ever dreamed of simply living a free life and exploring the world(and being brave enough to write about it and generous enough to share about it), Eddy writes for you. His words are gorgeous without being flowery. His writing reaches deep and touches your heart and mind. I not only recommend THIS Eddy Harris book highly, I recommend ANY Eddy L. Harris book highly.
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