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Literary Classic Review    

 

In My Fatherís Garden
By Lee May
University of Alabama Press (Deep South series), 2002
ISBN: 0-8173-1158-0

 

 
 

Lee May, a gifted amateur gardener, found a way to turn his avocation into a vocation. After spending twenty-years as a journalist, "parachuting into America's trouble spots," Lee decided to make some major life changes. In My Fatherís Garden chronicles the essayist's career change and reunion with his birth father, also an avid gardener.

May's memoir is about midlife -- changing careers, finding his father after a thirty-nine year estrangement, settling down (making a home and garden), marrying for the third time, and blending families.

In June of 1989, Lee May cautiously made his way to his eighty-year old father's home in Jackson, Mississippi.  The reunion was awkward until father and son walked around the house and stood before a lovely garden filled with rows of peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, peas, and squash. The two men found their commonality in the garden and built their relationship Ė both literal and metaphorical -- based on their mutual love of the earth.

First published in 1995, In My Fatherís Garden, is an homage to fatherhood, families, and renewal.

Lee May is a food and garden columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Senior Contributing Editor for Southern Living. He has been recognized with several national awards, including the National Conference on Christian and Jews' Gold Medal and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award's Grand Prize.

 

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

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