Coming Home to Mississippi
Celebrations of homecoming by prominent Mississippians who made the return journey
In this collection, essayists examine their lives, their memories of Mississippi, the reasons they left the state, and what drew them back. They talk about how life differs and wears on you in the far-flung parts of our nation, and the qualities that make Mississippi unique.
The writers from all corners of the state are as diverse as the regions from which they come. They are of different races, different life experiences, different talents, and different temperaments. Yet in acceding to the magical lure of Mississippi they are in many ways alike. Their roots are deep in the rich soil of this state, and they come from strong families that valued education and promoted an indomitable optimism. Successes stem from a passion, usually emerging early in life, that burns within them. But that passion is tempered, disciplined, encouraged, and influenced by the people around them, as well as the landscape and the history of their times.
These essays give us a glimpse of the people and places that nurtured the young lives of the essayists and offered the values that directed them as they sought their dreams elsewhere. Often they found that opportunity was within their grasp in their home state and came back to realize their full potential. They came back, in some cases, to retire to a familiar place of pleasant memories, to family and to friends. They all have a love and respect for Mississippi and continue, back home, to use their talents to help make the state an even better place to live.
To read this enchanting collection of reminiscences by some of my favorite fellow Mississippians about the state that each of us calls home causes me to reflect on the good fortune that has enabled me to spend my life here. These essays help to define more clearly the unique characteristics of this sometimes tormented and misunderstood but singularly alluring place called Mississippi. This volume presents a fascinating mosaic of diverse but shared memories about our cherished home state.- Elise Winter, former first lady of Mississippi
This endorsement of Coming Home to Mississippi, the recent homage to our beguiling state and the companion piece to the earlier collection, Growing Up in Mississippi, comes easily for me, because these thoughtfully chosen essays and rich words of remembrance remind us that our Mississippi is the most artful, soulful, southern place on earth. Charline McCord and Judy Tucker have once again brought us, through their sensitive editing process, bountiful written images that show we are resilient rascals, tenacious and quirky in our loyalty to family and sense of place, and that we will continue to return to our diverse and paradoxical Mississippi again and again.- Malcolm White, director of tourism, Mississippi Development Authority