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Lewis Grizzard ebooks start a stir with Southern fans everywhere

Author and humorist Lewis Grizzard famously refused to write using a computer, so the fact that a number of his best-loved titles are now available as ebooks carries no lack of irony. NewSouth has re-issued Grizzard’s They Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat and Elvis is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself — both long out of print — in both paperback and ebook formats, with two more titles on the way. If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I’m Going to Nail My Feet to the Ground and I Haven’t Understood Anything Since 1962 will both be available in print and ebook in early 2012.

News of the Grizzard ebooks has the South buzzing — and indeed orders are pouring in from all across the country. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Arts & Culture blog called the new publications “a veritable renaissance in the Southern humorist’s work.”

“Fans,” the paper continued, “should be feeling pretty good themselves right about now.”

(This, in kind contrast to columnist Dave Lieber’s recent piece, “Why papers are dying: Lewis Grizzard died first,” in which Lieber praises Grizzard’s writing and humor, but ends with the statement that Grizzard is “not talked about anymore.” We respectfully suggest the reports of the death of Grizzard’s popularity may be greatly exaggerated.)

The Journal-Constitution‘s Buzz column with Jennifer Britt and the Wilmington, North Carolina Star-News Bookmarks column also chimed in about the ebooks.

Grizzard’s widow Dedra has been the driving force behind the reissued books, spearheading the resurgence almost twenty years after Grizzard passed away. In interviews on Newsmakers with Tim Bryant on 1340 WGAU in Athens, Georgia, and The Rick Humphries Show in 640 WGST, Dedra talked about how she and NewSouth fit when she found a publisher that would reissue Grizzard’s books right away, instead of simply holding the rights.

Dedra told Rick Humphries that she believed part of Grizzard’s appeal was that he could write about “things we think about but don’t necessarily know how to verbalize.” She and Tim Bryant spoke about how the ebooks might help Grizzard gain a new generation of fans.

“Lewis’s work is universal, it’s timeless,” she said. “He’s very funny and writes about the truth of the human condition. I hope we have a lot of younger fans that are listening and will download a book and have a taste of Lewis.”

Read the Arts & Culture blog and The Buzz at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website, and Bookmarks is archived on the Star-News website. You can listen to Dedra Grizzard on Newsmakers with Tim Bryant and The Rick Humpries Show online.

Lewis Grizzard’s They Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat and Elvis is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself are both available in print and in all major ebook formats from NewSouth Books or your favorite book retailer.