Michelle Richmond/San Fransisco/Bluegrass and the Southern Connection

        On the second day at the Chattanooga Southern Writer’s conference, I met Michelle Richmond, who won the Hillsdale Award for fiction.  She is little bitty wisp of a red-haired young woman from the hotbed of Southern Literature, San Fransisco.  (O.K., she grew up in Alabama)  I hated to admit it but I didn’t know much more about San Fransisco than the fact they used to say on T.V. it was the home of Rice-a-Roni.

        Ms. Richmond doesn’t look like she could have lived long enough to see much tragedy, but she figured out how to write about it.  I got a chance to talk to after her talk and kidded her about California and Southern Lit, and she told me there was a thriving scene there. 

          I wasn’t surprised.  Mike Marshall grew up in Florida.  He might be the world’s best mandolinist, and he lives out that way now.  Years ago when the Dillards (the Andy Griffith Darling family) were coming along, they lit out for California from the Ozarks with no more of a business plan than “there can’t be too many pickers in Hollywood.”  It is no longer true in bluegrass, so it was no shock it ain’t the case in Southern Lit either.

        If a hip young lady from San Fransisco can write Southern Lit and speak Southern with a country doctor, then it proves to me Southern is a state of mind more than a place.  I haven’t read her book yet, but I need to.  If any of y’all have read her work, I hope you’ll let me know.

Dr. B

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6 Comments on “Michelle Richmond/San Fransisco/Bluegrass and the Southern Connection”

  1. Billy Says:

    The French translation of her book “A Year in Fog” just came out a couple of days ago. You can find out more about her writing her Blog site:

    Thanks for telling us about her.

  2. drtombibey Says:


    Lord have mercy. A French translation of a San Fransisco Southern lady’s story.

    I wonder how some of Indie’s tales would translate in French. He’s a cigarette smoking, part Choctaw Country Doctor who drinks Jim Beam and fiddles bluegrass music. I bet Indie’d at least play well in southern Paris. To me his appeal is universal.

    Dr. B

  3. pandemonic Says:

    Have you read her book, Dr. B? I have, and it’s very compelling. The only thing I didn’t like was the ending was a little too pat. Then after I thought about it a few days, I thought, wait a minute! The police should have figured this out a long time ago. Still, it was an enjoyable read, and I knew many of the landmarks she describes in her book. Many of them are the same ones I use.

  4. drtombibey Says:

    Ms Pande,

    I haven’t. I’m still on this Daniel Boone kick right now. She was a good speaker. I need to get it read.

    Dr. B

  5. pandemonic Says:

    I should send you my copy then!

  6. drtombibey Says:


    Oh I appreciate it but I need to get one anyway. I’m afraid I wouldn’t get it back to you till my tour of the frozen tundra. I would then, though, and I ain’t gonna forget we have a deal to trade books professional courtesy.

    Dr. B

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