The Nation: Family Stories: The Carters in Plains

The branching and flowering of Southern family trees are the special province of Novelist Reynolds Price (A Long and Happy Life, The Surface of Earth). Assigned by TIME, Price went to Plains from his home in Durham, N.C., and met many of the Carters. He writes:

Despite the waves of tourists and newsmen who are washing over Plains (pop. 683) and providing brisk business for the Peanut Museum, the sandwich shop, and the new stores selling what Miss Lillian calls "Jimmy-things," the main pastime still seems to be memory—as it is in all villages,...

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