Cover To Cover is the anchor program for GPB’s literary coverage. Cover To Cover features a collection of distinctive Southern voices interviewing Georgia writers, Southern writers, and writers dealing with the South. The GPB Southern Lit Cadre will provide you with a varied, weekly glimpse at fiction, non-fiction, history, poetry, and even the occasional ‘old school’ nod to Flannery O’Connor or William Faulkner.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Jesse Freeman Interviews David Fulmer

Join us on Sunday, May 11 at 8:00pm as Cover To Cover introduces a new member of our Southern Lit Cadre, Jesse Freeman. Jesse will be chatting with Atlanta-based noir-culture writer David Fulmer about his most recent novels The Dying Crapshooter's Blues and The Blue Door. The first of these takes place in Atlanta in the 1920's and includes blues legend Blind Willie McTell. Cover To Cover will feature McTell's song of the same name as part of Sunday's show.

Jesse Freeman grew up in Madison, Georgia, where he wrote for the hometown weekly, The Madisonian. He received a B. A. in English from Georgia State University. Jesse is a freelance journalist and video producer in the Atlanta area. He is a GPB TV correspondent for Lawmakers and Prep Sports Plus. His documentary work on the late author Raymond Andrews landed him a speaking appearance at the 19th Annual Southern Writers’ Symposium in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He has also been nominated for a Magazine Association of the Southeast’s GAMMA Award for an article he authored on Andrews.

I interviewed Jesse for the Cover To Cover Blog so that you could get a better idea of where he is coming from

CTC: What is it you like about Southern Literature?

Jesse Freeman: I love the attention to character. That's the hallmark of Southern literature, I think...that it is character-driven. Bocaccio begins his Decameron, "Human, it is..." and I think Southern writers write that way, with a rich understanding of what it is to be human.

As far as contemporary Southern writers, I really like Richard Bausch. His debut novel, Real Presence, which I think was published in 1981, is a wonderful novel and it encapsulates the best of what I just mentioned about Southern writing. He has some personal shortcomings that have been talked about lately, but he has done as much as anyone to promote young Southern writers. I interviewed Bausch once and he told me a story about how thrilled he was to be on a flight with Bob Dylan. I thought to myself how thrilled I was to be having a conversation with Richard Bausch.

My favorite Southern writer of all time is Faulkner. That doesn't put me out on a limb, but what are you gonna do? His writing is without parallel. Henry James, James Joyce, Naqib Mahfooz--they're all great, but Faulkner resonates like no other. He demands a tremendous investment from the reader, but pays back in great dividends.

CTC: What do you like about David Fulmer, who you are talking with on Sunday about his two most recent novels?

Jesse Freeman: What I like about Fulmer's writing is partly due to the fact that it is in contrast to the Southern tradition. His characters are good enough, but they're not subtle and masterful. Rather, it is the plot that drives his novels. This sets him apart. Plot is often lost on Southern writers. It's not lost with Fulmer. Also, I love that he seems to take great joy in writing. He loves music and cars and drinking and it seems he loves to write about things. He takes it upon himself to mention these things, though it is sometimes unnecessary and sometimes redundant. He is a guy's guy. He has a lot of female fans, but so does Springsteen. Fulmer loves to write about the blues and jazz and big cars and drinking liquor. I enjoy reading someone who seems to enjoy writing.

We hope you enjoy Jesse's interview with David Fulmer on Sunday's edition of Cover To Cover. Questions or comments to