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.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crossing the Lines

Atlanta resident Richard Doster was in advertising for most of his career and currently edits a magazine published by the Presbyterian Church. Over the last several years, he has focused his writing and interest in spiritual matters, the South, race and culture in an intriguing approach to fiction.

His fist novel, Safe at Home, chronicled a fictional southern town in the 1950s experiencing the integration of its minor league baseball team.

Having covered that explosive story in his hometown newspaper, Doster's sportswriter hero Jack Hall caught the attention of editors in Atlanta and takes a job in the big city just as the Civil Rights movement was beginning to take shape. Thus the story of Doster's follow- up novel, Crossing the Lines, is set in motion.

Hall and others eventually start a magazine that celebrates all that is great about the South--its literature, its music, its culture-- while the region is being understandably ridiculed by the national media during the period for its racial intolerance. Through the journalistic travails, Hall, a man entirely of his times, experiences an evolution in his own race consciousness.

In his Cover to Cover interview, Doster talks about his inspiration for taking on such volatile subject matter and discusses his methods of bringing to fictional life such historical figures as Martin Luther King, Ralph McGill and Flannery O'Connor in his work.

Listen to this episode