Set in the mid-1970s in rural South Carolina, Memory's Keep is the story of Mister Pink Suber, a 94-year-old black man who still tends the farm his family has worked on as servants since the 1800s. His children moved away after his wife died three years earlier, but he goes on tending his land and livestock alone while mentoring his young neighbor, 27-year-old Trig Tinsley in the ways of farming and of life.
Kibler is a professor of Southern literature at the University of Georgia. He has published extensively on the 19th-century South Carolina author William Gilmore Simms, as well as writing his own work.
In 1998, Kibler published Our Fathers' Fields: A Southern Story in which he tells the story of the 1804 South Carolina plantation that he bought and renovated, and his reforestation of the surrounding acreage; the book won the Nonfiction Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 1999.
In 2001 Kibler published a collection of poetry, Poems From Scorched Earth, and then his cycle of stories, Child to the Waters appeared in 2003. His first novel, Walking Toward Home, the first volume of his Clay Bank County trilogy, came out in 2004. The final installment of the trilogy, The Education of Chauncey Doolittle is set for publication soon.
Fellow Southern writer Walter Sullivan has said of Kibler that he...
...has developed a them that has long defined both Southern history and literature: the deep, metaphysical connection between the Southern character and temperament and the natural world...a graceful articulation of the agrarian vision.Kibler now divides his time between residencies in Whitmire, South Carolina, and Athens, Georgia.
I hope you'll read Memory's Keep and tune in for the next Cover to Cover, Sunday, August 26 at 8PM on GPB.
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