Robert Pen Warren
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The Ballad of Billie Potts
Author: Robert Pen Warren
Artist : P John Burden
One of the most significant early works of Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989) —the American writer and literary critic who is the only person to have won Pulitzer Prizes in both fiction and poetry —The Ballad of Billie Potts has, in the decades since it was released in Warren’s 1943 volume Selected Poems, proven far more universal than its setting between the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers in western Kentucky might suggest.
Inspired by the folk tales of Warren’s native state, The Ballad of Billie Potts is, on its face, a simple, if unsettling, story:
A murderous innkeeper, named Billie Potts, and his wife have a son — Little Billie — whom they both adore. In an attempt to impress his parents, Little Billie attempts to rob and kill a passing traveller…but, in his fumbling inexperience, botches the job and returns home in humiliation. In anger, his father turns him away to make his fortune on his own. Years later, having prospered out West, Little Billie returns to the land between rivers —only to be killed for a bag of gold by his own parents.
With thematic and moral keynotes that would concern Warren for a lifetime —the passage from childhood innocence into guilt, the journey that ends with a return to the father or to the place of origin, the undiscovered self, and a certain mysticism that unites each individual with humankind and with nature —The Ballad of Billie Potts is a haunting tale that is firmly rooted in its time and place of origin, and also deeply relevant to contemporary concerns, such as capitalism and the destruction of our planet.
Now, publisher Bunim & Bannigan, Ltd. makes this classic of mid-century American literature available to the modern reader with the release of a new edition featuring a thought-provoking new introduction from John Burt and powerful, fantastic-realist illustrations by artist P. John Burden.
|ISBN associated with this title:||9781933480442|
|Publisher||Bunim and Bannigan|
|Published on||December 22 2017|
|Dimensions||10(in) x 7(in)|
|Status||NOT YET PUBLISHED|