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A Book in Brief & A Warm Welcome

November 1, 2008

The November issue of Metro has just gone online, and in my column this month, I write briefly about Laura Sloan Patterson’s Stirring the Pot: The Kitchen and Domesticity in the Fiction of Southern Women. As I note in my article, the book spans an equally diverse array of authors, from a discussion of the various readings of entrapment imagery in Ellen Glasgow’s Virginia-set novels to a examination of three novels by the seemingly non-southern and non-domestic writer Toni Morrison to a survey of how the Internet has impacted the “homemaker” in a chapter titled “Betty Crocker, Betty Friedan, and the Techno-Southern Belles.” Novels by Eudora Welty and by Lee Smith are also examined in great detail.

This month’s issue also features the return of film critic — or more appropriately, filmmaker-critic — Godfrey Cheshire. In 1978, Cheshire began writing film criticism for The Spectator, an alternative weekly serving North Carolina’s Triangle region and in many ways a precursor to Metro magazine in its content if not its style, and by the time I became Spectator‘s managing editor in the late 1990s (and Cheshire’s editor there to the extent that he actually had one), Cheshire was working for New York Press, contributing to The New York Times, Variety, Film Comment and others, and even serving as president of the National Film Critics Circle. Cheshire continued to write for Spectator and then The Independent, another (rival) Triangle weekly which later bought Spectator long after I’d left the paper myself. More recently, Cheshire has made his own first film, the documentary Moving Midway, which the New York Times praised as “extraordinarily rich. Takes up the agonies and ironies of Southern history with remarkable empathy, wit, and learning.”  (And for audiences in the Washington, D.C. area, where I live now, the film will be screened on Thursday, November 13, at the Avalon, with a q&a with Cheshire and Robert Hinton, associate producer of the film and associate director of Africana Studies at New York University.) Cheshire’s first column in Metro’s pages promises good things to come. 

— Art Taylor

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