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Folklore Review    

SWINGING IN PLACE: Porch Life in Southern Culture
Jocelyn Hazelwood Donlon
The University of North Carolina Press, 2001
$17.95 (193p)
ISBN: 0-8078-4977-4

Jocelyn Hazelwood Donlon's dissertation adviser recommended, "Your book should begin where your dissertation ends -- on the porch." Heeding his advice, the folklorist wrote SWINGING IN PLACE, the first serious study of porch life. 

Using literature, folklore, oral histories, and photographs, she argues that the porch is both culturally and structurally unusual, deriving from a number of ethnic traditions. 

Her sources include writings by: Dorothy Allison, William Faulkner, Ernest Gaines, Gloria Naylor, Zora Neale Hurston, and Lee Smith. The author also uses oral histories to broaden the perspectives of race, gender, class, and region. 

Donlon's work shows how porch space shifts back and forth by need and function. 


Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

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