Around the Press in 80 Books: I Am One of You Forever

In celebration of LSUP’s 80th anniversary the staff selected 80 of our most memorable titles. Adding to our “Around the Press in 80 Books” blog series, Financial Operations Manager Becky Brown writes about I Am One of You Forever.

I Am One of You Forever

As long as I’ve worked at LSU Press—and that’s over two and a half decades now—one of our most popular books has always been I Am One of You Forever: A Novel by Fred Chappell. After several years of taking orders for it, reprinting it, and seeing it often adopted for university courses, I decided to read it and see what it was all about. I was not disappointed!

The story takes place in the hills of North Carolina in the 1940s and is basically the story of a young boy’s coming of age. I loved Chappell’s lyrical description of the mountain countryside, and I would have expected nothing less since I knew he was a gifted and much lauded poet. He was Poet Laureate of North Carolina for five years, so I knew he had a gift for beautiful language. But it was the characters of the story—the young boy’s family members—that led me to realize that Fred Chappell is also a master storyteller.

It was a great honor to meet Fred Chappell at a book industry trade show in 1999 upon publication of LSU Press’s poetry anthology, The Yellow Shoe Poets, for which Chappell wrote the foreword. It was easy to see why he was a popular professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. One of the greatest perks of working at LSU Press has been the opportunity to meet amazingly talented writers such as Fred Chappell, and to see the widespread effect their works have had over the years.

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