The American South is generally warmer, wetter, weedier, snakier,
and more insect infested and disease prone than other regions of
the country. It is alluring to the scientifically and poetically
minded alike. With Mockingbird Song
, Jack Temple Kirby
offers a personal and passionate recounting of the centuries-old
human-nature relationship in the South. Exhibiting violent cycles
of growth, abandonment, dereliction, resettlement, and
reconfiguration, this relationship, Kirby suggests, has the
sometimes melodious, sometimes cacophonous vocalizations of the
region's emblematic avian, the mockingbird.
In a narrative voice marked by the intimacy and enthusiasm of a
storyteller, Kirby explores all of the South's peoples and their
landscapes--how humans have used, yielded, or manipulated varying
environments and how they have treated forests, water, and animals.
Citing history, literature, and cinematic portrayals along the way,
Kirby also relates how southerners have thought about their part of
Earth--as a source of both sustenance and delight.