New from NewSouth Books

Journey to the Wilderness: War, Memory, and a Southern Family’s Civil War Letters


On the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Frye Gaillard reflects on the war--and the way we remember it--through the lens of letters written by his family, including great-great grandfather, Thomas Gaillard, and Thomas's sons, Franklin and Richebourg, both of whom were Confederate officers. As Frye Gaillard explains in his deeply felt introductory essay, he came of age in a Southern generation that viewed the war as a glorious lost cause. But as he read through letters collected and handed down by members his family, he confronted a far more sobering truth.
"Oh, this terrible war," wrote Thomas Gaillard. "Who can measure the troubles -- the affliction -- it has brought upon us all?"
To this real-time anguish in voices from the past, Gaillard offers a personal remembrance of the shadow of war and its place in the haunted identity of the South. "My own generation," he writes, "was, perhaps, the last that was raised on stories of gallantry and courage, an admiration of the dashing generals who led our fighting men into battle, and whose heroism was undiminished by defeat. Oddly, mine was also the one of the first generations to view the Civil War through the lens of civil rights--to see, often quite reluctantly, connections and flaws in southern history that earlier generations couldn’t bear to face…”
“The Gaillard family letters from the Civil War era and Frye Gaillard's contemporary introductory remarks provide a lens through which we can better see the inner lives of those who made a terrible choice in going to war to preserve the institution of slavery. How could the Confederate South have been so hot-headed, so wrong-hearted? many of us, their descendants, have wondered. More than a lens, Journey to the Wilderness is also a mirror, and we see people much like ourselves who loved their families, their homes, their way of life, and that question is partially answered. Nonetheless, this book serves as a cautionary tale that directs us to embrace the sacredness of all human life.”
--  Sena Jeter Naslund, Author of Ahab’s Wife 





"The Best of the Best"


Frye Gaillard has recently had the privilege of contributing to two different books featuring the work of good friends. Gaillard edited and wrote the introduction for The Poetry of Faith: Sermons Preached in a Southern Church by Steven Dill, who is one of the South’s most distinguished ministers. Released in April 2013, The Poetry of Faith features twenty of Dill’s meditations, beginning with “a Christian apology for slavery,” which he was asked to deliver to an African-American congregation in Alabama. “The poetry of Dill’s preaching,” Gaillard wrote in the book’s introduction, “caught the quick of my imagination and quietly, inevitably made me think.” In addition, Gaillard wrote a companion essay for renowned photographer Don Stukey’s collection, This Old Wheel Will Roll Around Again: A Pictorial History of the South, 1950-1990. Sturkey, former Southern Photographer of the Year during his time at the Charlotte Observer, recently donated his catalogue of photographs to the University of North Carolina’s Wilson Library in Chapel Hill. The library in turn commissioned Gaillard to write an essay for this book, which features some of Sturkey’s strongest images. “Don Sturkey is the best of the best,” said Gaillard. “What an honor to write this ‘verbal illustration’ for his photographs.”

The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir, by Frye Gaillard


Frye Gaillard’s latest book from NewSouth Books offers a reader’s tribute to the writings that enriched and altered his life. In a series of carefully crafted, often deeply personal essays, Gaillard blends memoir, history and critical analysis to explore the works of Harper Lee, Anne Frank, James Baldwin, Robert Penn Warren, John Steinbeck, and many others. As this heartfelt reminiscence makes clear, the books that chose Frye Gaillard shaped him like an extended family. Reading The Books That Mattered will make you study your own shelves to find clues into your own literary heart.

“An exuberantly written account of one writer’s leap toward understanding life’s intersection with literature.”
- Kirkus Reviews

Now Available!


The Quilt and the Poetry of Alabama Music, by Frye Gaillard and Kathryn Scheldt

In this book-length combination of essays and song lyrics, Frye Gaillard and Kathryn Scheldt pay tribute to the literary legacy of Alabama’s songwriters. Since 2008, Gaillard and Scheldt, a singer-songwriter from Fairhope, AL, have co-written three album’s worth of songs, including Scheldt’s top ten country hit, “Almost Cheatin’,” and “The Last Shrimp Boat,” which anchors the soundtrack of the documentary, In the Path of the Storms. Working with hall of fame guitarist Ricky Hirsch, Gaillard and Scheldt are completing work on “The Quilt and Other Song Stories,” an Americana album to accompany this book. The book and CD are now available separately or together. The book, published with the support of The History Museum of Mobile, is an inaugural publication of Solomon & George, a new literary publisher in Auburn, AL.