Fontaine Banks Jr. and Sidney Saylor Farr, memoir authors (#343)
Fontaine Banks Jr. discusses Memoirs of a Political Legend and Sidney Saylor Farr talks about My Appalachia: A Memoir.
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Banks, whose memoir chronicles his 50-year political career in Frankfort, discusses his family history in Eastern Kentucky, his education at Berea College, and his service as chief of staff for former governors Bert Combs and Ned Breathitt. He walks viewers through a typical day as chief of staff and talks about important programs initiated during his time in Frankfort. Banks also mentions some special moments, including meeting Martin Luther King Jr.
Farr discusses My Appalachia, which was named Book of the Year by the Appalachian Writer’s Association. The memoir tells Farr’s story of growing up in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky, where her devotion to family led her to accept crushing responsibilities that steered her away from her own goals. Farr confesses that unearthing painful memories for the book was no easy task. She also talks about some of her other books, including Appalachian Women: An Annotated Bibliography; More Than Moonshine: Appalachian Recipes and Recollections, a narrative cookbook; and What Tom Sawyer Learned from Dying, which vividly describes a man’s near-death experience.