Arts and Humanities

Summer’s the time for Tar Heel tales

UNC Press offers a Mayberry-infused memoir, veteran’s essays, stories of strong Southern women and more.

һƷ̳̽ Blue background with collection of books on top.

Whether you’re in a beach chair, kicked back at the campsite or on the sofa at home, reading these books from UNC Press will add some North һƷ̳̽ flavor to your summer.

“Looking for Andy Griffith: A Father’s Journey”

By Evan Dalton Smith 

For Smith and many of his generation in North һƷ̳̽, actor Andy Griffith seemed everywhere, a part of daily life. Even after Smith left the state, he felt the pull of home with Griffith’s influence alongside. This memoir explores celebrity and self, home and what leaving it means, and why we love and admire people we’ve never met. By writing about his and Griffith’s entwined lives, Smith finds his own story, one informed by and freed from the legacy of one of the state’s most famous sons.

“The After: A Veteran’s Notes on Coming Home”

By Michael Ramos 

When Ramos joined the Navy as a chaplain’s bodyguard 13 days before 9/11, he had no idea he would soon be sent to Iraq. But he embraced the posting, combat service and career for a decade until the military told him his skill set was no longer relevant. Ramos struggled with the return to civilian life, through divorce and remarriage, his son’s enlistment in the Marines, the deaths of friends and sleeplessness. These 20 nonlinear essays portray the challenges and complexities of being a warrior, civilian, veteran, father, husband and teacher.

“һƷ̳̽ing North һƷ̳̽’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail: A Companion for Hikers and Armchair Explorers”

By Jerry Barker 

Barker championed North һƷ̳̽’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail and led its development. His book takes readers on a unique journey, sharing the rich history and stories of each segment along the trail’s route. Connecting the route to western North һƷ̳̽’s Indigenous history, to the long military presence near the һƷ̳̽ coast and more, Barker offers a new way to understand and appreciate not only the state’s natural beauty, but also its people and history.

“Southern Lights: 75 Years of the һƷ̳̽ Quarterly”

Edited by Sophia Houghton, Kylan Rice and Daniel Wallace 

This collection offers short fiction that you can read between summer activities or devour consecutively. The һƷ̳̽ Quarterly, founded in 1948 at UNC-Chapel Hill, has published many luminaries of modern and contemporary literature, including Robert Morgan, Evie Shockley, Joyce Carol Oates and Doris Betts. This anthology gathers some of the best writing from the past 75 years, along with an informative essay about the journal’s history and influence.

“The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Women: Stories of Landscape and Community in the Mountain South”

Edited by Kami Ahrens 

In 1966, high school English students in Rabun County, Georgia, created Foxfire magazine to celebrate Appalachian stories, peoples and culture. Poetry and prose from local students and authors and interviews with community members filled the magazine. Oral histories became the magazine’s focal point and, eventually, material in the multivolume “Foxfire” book series. This first volume in this new series focuses on the lives of Appalachian women.

“Boardinghouse Women”

By Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt

This collection of vivid stories about women who ran boardinghouses in the South comes from the Kenan Eminent Professor of Southern Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences’ American studies department. Englehardt’s profiles illustrate why modern American culture — from food to politics — owes a debt to these women. Coming from different income levels and cultural backgrounds — Black, Jewish, Native American and white — these business innovators often became financially independent. North һƷ̳̽ connections include Brevard’s own Jackie “Moms” Mabley and Wilmington’s Alice Lee Larkins, who kept a gun tucked in her bodice to discourage marriage proposals from boarders.