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State of the Heart
South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love

Edited by Aïda Rogers
Foreword by Pat Conroy

A collection of heartfelt recollections of place from a pantheon of Palmetto State writers

In State of the Heart, Aïda Rogers has crafted an artful love letter to our state, with contributions from a host of nationally and regionally recognized writers who have written short essays on the South Carolina places that they cherish. This anthology provides a multifaceted historical and personal view of the Palmetto State.

Thematically organized, this collection offers a geographic and emotional scope that is as diverse as its contributors. Sportswriters describe beloved arenas; historians reflect on church ruins and forts. A playwright recalls the magic of her first theater experience; a food writer revels in a coastal joint that serves fresh oysters. Backyards, front porches, a small library at a children's home, the Savannah River Site, and places that are gone except in the memories of the writers who loved them—these are just a few of the locales covered, all showing how South Carolina has changed and inspired people in a variety of ways.

State of the Heart evokes a sense of history and timelessness by bringing together heartfelt responses to South Carolina rooted in memory, drawing on reflection, inspiration, and love. The anthology reveals a state that is more than a playground for tourists; it is a state of human hiding places that echo in the hearts of its literary citizens. Though presented as a book about place, the collection is ultimately about our shared connections to one another, to a complex common past, and to ongoing efforts to frame and build a future of promise and possibility.

Aïda Rogers is a writer and editor whose feature journalism has won national and regional awards. She has worked in newpapers, television, and magazines and has coauthored Stop Where the Parking Lot's Full, a guidebook to South Carolina's favorite restaurants with Tim Driggers. She lives in Columbia.

"State of the Heart is a rich collection of personal stories, reflections, historical facts and front porch yarns as colorful, timeless and inspiring as the people and landscape of the Palmetto State. This heartfelt book is a must-read for everyone lucky enough to have been born here or who now calls South Carolina home."—Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author, Beach House Memories

"State of the Heart reminds us of what is best about South Carolina and her many gifted writers, the monumental power of this place to shape our memories into stories and then our stories into art."—Pat Conroy, from the foreword

"Southerners—-whether they write poetry, fiction, or non-fiction—-have a sense of place. In their work, sometimes that place is a literal, physical presence; sometimes it is spiritual. For some a place is a haven, for others it is a muse: a front porch, a garden, a cabin in the woods, a library, or the Carolina Coliseum. In this wonderful book of "mini-memoirs" you can discover the places that have inspired and continue to inspire a marvelous group of South Carolina writers."—Walter Edgar



State of the Heart


6 x 9
224 pages
50 illustrations
ISBN ISBN 978-1-61117-250-8
hardcover, $39.95s

ISBN 978-1-61117-251-5
paperback, $19.95t

ISBN 978-1-61117-252-2
ebook, $18.99t

A University of South Carolina Press Friends Fund Book

William P. Baldwin
Kendall Bell
Cynthia Boiter
Shane Bradley
Lee Gordon Brockington
Ken Burger
Amanda Capps
John Cely
Pat Conroy
Robin Asbury Cutler
Billy Deal
Clair DeLune
Nathalie Dupree
Mary Eaddy
Starkey Flythe
Daniel Elton Harmon
Stephen G. Hoffius
Cecile S. Holmes
Dot Jackson
Dianne Johnson
Sandra Johnson
John Lane
J. Drew Lanham
Nick Lindsay
Vennie Deas Moore
John Hammond Moore
Sam Morton
Horace Mungin
Kirk H. Neely
Liz Newall
Tom Poland
Aïda Rogers
Dori Sanders
W. Thomas Smith Jr.
Deno Trakas
Ceille Baird Welch
Marjory Wentworth

    Copyright ©2018 The University of South Carolina Press