No introduction I could possibly write would do justice to this great article by Joe Bageant, so I’m just going to post the first few paragraphs then provide a link:
The Audacity of Depression
By JOE BAGEANT
One of the best things about the hundred or so book festivals in America is that, with luck, a writer can manage to get drunk with some of his or her readers. And with more luck, the readers pick up the tab. Bear in mind that 90% of all real writers, people for whom writing is their sole
income, spend much of their time counting their change in the rest room of the hotels where they are being put up while on tour. Believe me, there are better rackets than writing.
So here I am at the Virginia Festival of the Book copping a smoke on the back dining patio of the Omni Hotel in Charlottesville with one of my readers — a somewhat elegant sixty-plus blonde who runs a small public library financial support group down in ancient marshy Northumberland County, Virginia. Created in 1648, it is the area James A. Michener wrote about in Chesapeake, and a place where, she tells me, periwinkles planted three hundred years ago on the graves of slaves still bloom. My wife, a historical librarian doing colonial African-American research, tells me these periwinkle
marked slave graves can be found throughout Virginia.
Immensely energetic and a lifelong activist for literacy and informed thought, this cigarette voiced Northumberland librarian has built the county’s new little library,
and even managed to coax enough money out of the local government for two employees. In a county with a population of 12,000, that’s no small political feat.
Read the rest here. Enjoy!