Hal Crowther

Gather at the River: A Collection of Essays including "A Prophet from Savannah"

In Gather at the River, Hal Crowther cuts to the heart of recent political, religious and cultural issues but pauses to appreciate the sweet things that the South has to offer, like music, baseball, great writers and strong women. Some of these essays invite debate. For example, Crowther gives a balanced perspective on the tragedy of the Branch Davidians at Waco; describes an example of unique heroism in the Iraq war, a war fought by one class and promoted by another; and recommends interracial procreation as a solution to racial conflict. In Gather at the River, Crowther combines lyrical language with wit and frankness, and the South—with all its burdens, curiosities and promises—comes vividly into view.

Gather at the River was 2006 finalist for the National Book Critics Circle prize for criticism. Cathedrals of Kudzu, published in 2000, received the Lillian Smith Book Award from the Southern Regional Council, the 1999-2001 Fellowship Prize for Nonfiction from the Fellowship of Southern Writers and the 2001 Book of the Year Award for essays from Foreword Magazine. The Southern Book Critics Circle also chose Cathedrals as a finalist for the Southern Book Award in Nonfiction. Turning his quick wit and keen eye on everything from culture and media to politics and drama, Crowther is a regular contributor to Oxford American magazine, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and has written for Time and Newsweek. He lives with his wife, the author Lee Smith, in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Lee Smith will also be appearing at the 2011 Savannah Book Festival.


The Savannah Book Festival is a non-profit organization that hosts an annual, weekend-long festival of the written and spoken word, February 18-20, 2011. It remains free and open to the public at Telfair Square, in the Historic District of Savannah, Ga.

This author’s appearance has been graciously sponsored by:

  • Mr. and Mrs. Susan and Bill Lovett