Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Go South to Freedom

Frye Gaillard’s latest book, Go South to Freedom, can be ordered now! The book, a historical novel for young readers about a runaway slave family, is based on a piece of oral history shared with me by my old and dear friend, Robert Croshon. Kirkus called the novel
 “an informative and well-told story … that needs to be remembered and retold,”
and praised the illustrations by Alabama artist Anne Kent Rush. Irene Latham, author of the superb YA novel, Leaving Gees Bend, said
 “Go South to Freedom is a campfire story for all ages, filled with surprise and adventure, truth and sadness, and ultimately hope….”
Joyce Hansen, who has written extensively about the Underground Railroad, declared,
“You feel as if you’re sitting at the feet of an ancient griot recounting the history of a people,”
and Greg Neri, winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, concluded that
“Gaillard tells this heartfelt Southern epic in a way that puts you smack in the middle of a slave family’s escape. A must-read for schools.” 
Writing for young readers is new territory for me, so I’m encouraged. I wish my friend Robert were still around to read the book he encouraged me to write.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Teachers' Guide for Go South to Freedom

NewSouth Books has just released a 48-page teacher's guide to go with Frye Gaillard's historical novel for young readers, Go South to Freedom. The guide includes sample questions in multiple subject areas for each chapter, as well as highly imaginative suggestions for projects and activities for students. It was prepared by Gaillard's wife, Dr. Nancy Gaillard, and her University of South Alabama College of Education colleague, Dr. Abbie Baxter, and is available for free download at Here's a link if you want to check it out: Download the guide.
Gaillard says: "I'm extremely pleased with the teacher's guide. It's creative and thoughtful, brilliant really. Thanks to these two fine educators for the work they have done, and to NewSouth Books for going the extra mile."  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Cradle of Freedom

Cradle of Freedom puts a human face on the story of the black American struggle for equality in Alabama during the 1960s. From the Montgomery bus boycott, the Freedom Rides, the Letter from the Birmingham Jail, the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, Bloody Sunday, and the Black Power movement in the Alabama Black Belt, this history tells how ordinary people rose to the challenges of an unfair system with a will and determination that changed their times forever. It is a fascinating and extraordinary story that Gaillard tells with the dramatic flow of a novel, yet it is based on meticulous research.
“A feel for the right details and deft, interpretive writing bring to history what DNA testing brings to innocence and guilt… (Gaillard) cuts through the veneer of familiarity and takes us into the spit, sweat, and marrow of 40-year-old events.”
- The Charlotte Observer

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir

The Books That Mattered is beautifully rendered and wisely conceived; it gives insight as both memoir and literary guide.” -- Patricia Foster, All the Lost Girls

“In this era when deep immersion in books is too-often viewed as unimportant, Frye Gaillard has given us a powerful reminder that literature can enrich, even dramatically change, the course of our lives.” -- Ron Rash, Serena: A Novel

“Written with warmth, a scholar’s attention to detail, and genuine insight, The Books That Mattered is a gift to readers everywhere. A reminder of why reading matters to us all.”
-- Michael Knight, The Typist

“Frye Gaillard doesn’t simply read books; he inhabits them…. the stories he tells in The Books That Mattered cover centuries and cross international boundaries…” 
-- Faye Jones, Chapter 16


With Music and Justice for All

“Frye Gaillard tells the truth at all costs, confronting racism head-on, explicating Southern music better than anybody in the world, presenting indelible (and often surprising) portraits of everybody from Marshall Chapman to Billy Graham, Tipper Gore to Johnny Cash. Rigorous integrity and generous, graceful writing characterize this fine book.”
-- Lee Smith

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Quilt and the Poetry of Alabama Music

By Frye Gaillard and Kathryn Scheldt
New Edition, 2015 from NewSouth Books

With a combination of song lyrics and reflective essays, Frye Gaillard and Kathryn Scheldt pay tribute to the literary legacy of Alabama songwriters. Included here are reflections on the works of Hank Williams, Emmylou Harris, W.C. Handy, Arthur Alexander and many others. “People know how hard life is,” says Emmylou. “They need music that will give words and expression to the feelings they have.” In addition to celebrating the contributions of other writers, Gaillard and Scheldt have assembled lyrics to some of their own songs, thus contributing to the legacy they admire. “What a cool project!” declares Nashville songwriter Marshall Chapman, author of They Came to Nashville.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Watermelon Wine: Remembering The Golden Years Of Country Music

25th Anniversary Edition!
Originally published 25 years ago, Watermelon Wine was praised for its honest, unsentimental examination of the compassion as well as the passion behind authentic country music. Author Frye Gaillard looked at the commercialization of the Grand Ole Opry; the tradition-minded rebels such as Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings, and Tompall Glaser; the growing divide between country and folk music; how Johnny Cash inspired new songwriters and new ideas; how the changing relationships between men and women were affecting the music; the role of God and gospel; and Southern rock's increasing influence. A quarter-century later, the essays in the book seem prophetic and in many cases have become even more relevant. A new introduction by Nashville music journalist Peter Cooper and a new afterword by the author update the book's themes and show what has happened to its personalities.