I WISH I COULD GIVE MY SON A WILD RACCOON by Eliot--Ed. Wigginton

I WISH I COULD GIVE MY SON A WILD RACCOON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Wigginton's students interviewed elderly Appalachian neighbors in connection with Fox fire, a local writing project that developed into a book. Other teenage groups have since followed that lead--using the elderly as a resource--and produced similar magazines; from these publications, Wigginton has culled some choice selections. But while Foxfire had a unifying purpose--recording handcrafts methods--this new work has no such structure; the people themselves, representing numerous ethnic groups, are central here, and the result is less distinctive than the earlier book. The easy mix of personal reminiscence and philosophical musing is appealing, and several themes recur, especially a commitment to hard work and pride in being independent. The experiences include blueberrying in Maine, selling alligator skins in Louisiana, trapping in Colorado, going to school in Alaska. Although one can admire the integrity of these people and enjoy their salty anecdotes and simple wisdom, the cumulative effect is tenuous; they tend to ramble, and what may be charming in private conversation is less entertaining in written form.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1976
Publisher: Anchor/Doubleday