In Two Captains from Carolina, Bland Simpson twines together the lives of two accomplished nineteenth-century mariners from North Carolina–one African American, one Irish American. Though Moses Grandy (ca. 1791- ca. 1850) and John Newland Maffitt Jr. (1819-1886) never met, their stories bring to vivid life the saga of race and maritime culture in the antebellum and Civil War-era South. With his lyrical prose and inimitable voice, Bland Simpson offers readers a grand tale of the striving human spirit and the great divide that nearly sundered the nation.
In this interview on NC Bookwatch, Simpson speaks with host D.G. Martin about Two Captains from Carolina and the fascinating lives led by Grandy, former slave turned Boston abolitionist, and Maffit, a midshipman in the U.S. Navy at age thirteen turned legendary blockade runner. Simpson also explains his reasons for contrasting these two men with each other in this “nonfiction novel.” Continue Reading Video: Bland Simpson on NC Bookwatch
This week in our North Carolina icons series we’re featuring the Great Dismal Swamp, which stretches from Norfolk, Virginia to Elizabeth City, North Carolina. It’s number 80 on Our State magazine’s 100 North Carolina Icons list, where it’s described: “Birds don’t find the swamp dismal at all. More than 200 species of birds can be spotted there during the year. Grab your binoculars and go.” Continue Reading North Carolina Icons: The Great Dismal Swamp
We recently spoke to Bland Simpson and Scott Taylor about capturing the essence and spirit of a large, rich place in photographs and words in the book they co-authored, The Coasts of Carolina: Seaside to Sound Country. For a limited time, their book, among many other great gift books, is available with a 20% discount… Continue Reading Interview: Simpson & Taylor on Carolina’s Coasts
On July 26, a mural named SERVICE was dedicated at UNC’s School of Government in the Knapp-Sanders Building. The mural, depicting a gathering of African-American leaders at the counter of a diner, was painted by Colin Quashie as a creative interpretation of the historical 1960 Greensboro, North Carolina, sit-in. We will be featuring each of… Continue Reading UNC Press takes a field trip to see SERVICE
Hearty congratulations to multiple UNC Press authors who have recently been honored by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources for their outstanding work in North Carolina history and culture. Anna Hayes was awarded the Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction for Without Precedent: The Life of Susie Marshall Sharp. The award is given… Continue Reading North Carolina Award Winners
UNC Press author Bland Simpson has made his name on a myriad of talents, one of which is his superb ability to write about North Carolina’s coastline. Since 1993, UNC Press has published five of Simpson’s books about the area, with the most recent work–The Inner Islands–scheduled for paperback publication in the spring of 2010.… Continue Reading David Stick 1919-2009