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Rick Bragg

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist
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Biography

Rick Bragg is the author of two critically acclaimed and best-selling books, All Over but the Shoutin' and Ava's Man. He also garnered a Pulitzer Prize for journalism as a national correspondent at The New York Times. Bragg's recent book, The Most They Ever Had, is an eloquent tale of an Alabama milling community and led The New York Times Book Review to state, "It is hard to think of a writer who reminds us more forcefully and wonderfully of what people and families are all about."

Bragg says he learned to tell stories by listening to the masters, the people of the foothills of the Appalachians. They talked of the sadness, poverty, cruelty, kindness, hope, hopelessness, faith, anger and joy of their everyday lives, and painted pictures on the very haze of the early evening when work faded into story-telling. These stories are the backbone of his third book, Ava's Man, the tale of a whiskey man, poacher, roofer and folk legend who was his mother's father and the grandfather he never saw.

All Over but the Shoutin' was Bragg's first book, the story of a mother who absorbed the cruelties of an alcoholic husband haunted by his service in the Korean War, and showed how she devoted her life to the endless cotton fields to make a living for her three sons. The book, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, won several awards and was selected as one of the best books of the year by several news organizations and leader groups. More important than the fact that it made The New York Times bestseller list, says Bragg, is the fact that the book became an anthem for the working people and poor people of the modern-day South.

A native of Alabama, Bragg worked at several newspapers before joining The New York Times in 1994. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing, the Jonesboro killings, the Susan Smith trial and more as a national correspondent based in Atlanta. He later became Miami Bureau Chief for the Times just in time for Elian Gonzalez's arrival and the international battle for the little boy. He recently retired from the Times in May 2003. Bragg has twice won the prestigious American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award, and more than 50 other writing awards in his 20-year career, and has given back to his profession by teaching writing in colleges and newsrooms.

Bragg is also the author of The Prince of Frogtown, Somebody Told Me, a critically acclaimed collection of his newspaper stories, and I am A Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story.

Topics

All Over but the Shoutin'

Somebody Told Me: Stories of a Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist

Journalism Today

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