Archive - April 13, 2011

Review of Gloryland by Shelton Johnson (Liberia 1982-84)

Review of Gloryland by Shelton Johnson (Liberia 1982-84)

Gloryland: A Novel by Shelton Johnson (Liberia 1982-83) Sierra Club/Counterpoint $15.95 288 pages 2010 Reviewed by Andy Trincia (Romania 2002-04) I REMEMBER SHELTON JOHNSON from the Ken Burns film “The National Parks:  America’s Best Idea” on PBS a couple years ago. Johnson, a park ranger at Yosemite, was featured prominently in the acclaimed documentary series, speaking eloquently and passionately about our great parks. What I didn’t know was that he was a Peace Corps Volunteer and wrote a book, Gloryland. Indeed, it was a pleasure to dive into this man’s debut novel. In the fictional but historically based memoir Gloryland, Johnson takes us on the life journey of Elijah Yancy, a sharecropper’s son from Spartanburg, South Carolina, born on Emancipation Day in 1863. Elijah is a feisty kid whose African and Seminole blood — and poor but close-knit family — give him a fierce pride despite the difficult post-Civil War . . .

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