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Mississippi Solo – A River Quest

Mississippi Solo - A River Quest by Eddy L. Harris


Mississippi Solo – A River Quest by Eddy L. Harris, An Owl Book: Henry Holt and Company, New York: September 15, 1998, paperback 256 pages, $13.75, reviewed by John Hall

The Mississippi River is Laden With the Burdens of A Nation
Eddy L. Harris canoes the Mississippi River--alone. Beautifully captured is the river's culture, the character of its people, as well as a man's remarkable spirit.

In his review of Mississippi Solo – A River Quest by Eddy L. Harris, William A. Davis of the Boston Globe writes "Harris, a young black journalist went down the Mississippi in a canoe, paddling from Lake Itasca in Minnesota to New Orleans.” The trip was the fulfillment of a dream for Harris, who grew up in St. Louis, according to Davis

“The trip was dangerous: The barge and boat traffic on the river is heavy and constant, storms and sand bars are frequent. And there was the additional danger of being a lone black man traveling from the Midwest through the Deep South, paddling, as a friend put it, from ‘Where there ain't no black folks to where they still don't like us much.

However, Harris survived to tell the tale, according Davis, “Writing with grace and feeling about the river and what it does to those who get carried along by it.”

Speaking of what he learned on his 2,300 mile adventure of discovery Harris writes "The river has taught me how to stick it out and endure. It helped me to improve my soul, and that is everything to me."

Reviewer William Davis considers Harris fulfillment of his dream to canoe the Mighty Mississippi a spiritual journey. “Like Huck Finn, Harris, too, is a spiritual son of the Mississippi.”

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