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Faded and Flown by Bailey White

  • 9500

National Public Radio's Bailey White is a Convivio Bookworks favorite, the author of Mama Makes Up Her Mind, Sleeping at the Starlight Motel, and the novel Quite a Year for Plums, and, in recent years, perhaps most famous for her annual Thanksgiving stories on NPR. In 1997, when we were still known as Red Wagon Press, we printed a collection of three of her previously unpublished "Mama" stories, each very funny and a bit poignant too. The closing story, in fact, was the first story Bailey wrote after her mother's passing, and you can read an awful lot into that story, to be sure.

Printed letterpress from handset metal type in an edition of 275 on Mohawk Superfine paper, with woodcuts by Caldecott medalist Mary Azarian. Bound in a sturdy printed cover of Ingres Antique. Signed by the author–all 275 of 'em–while the printer held a day-old baby chick in his hands as we sat at the table in Bailey's kitchen in South Georgia. But that's another story. 32 pages, 1997.

We offer this book in its regular bound edition at $95, but also offer it in pierced, unbound sheets for bookbinders who may wish to bind it their own way. $65 for the book in sheets.

It was a wet day in late February. We were driving to see an acquaintance of ours who had terminal cancer. Her husband and my mother shared an interest in horticulture. He was an artist, and painted pictures of flowers. My mother's interest is more scientific. She collects rare and obscure plants, makes minute studies of their structure and leaf forms, and keys them out using shelves and shelves of dog-eared manuals of vascular flora. She is a little scornful of Mr. Adams's romantic paintings of bastard flowers. "He's painted alternate leaves on a Viburnum!" she'll wail in disgust. But his wife was dying, and we were driving through a gray February drizzle to pay them a visit.

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