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Fields of White Gold

Remembering a Forgotten Time in the Arkansas Delta
George Ann Byrd Danehower
192 pages

Product Description

Once in a great while, a book captures the essence of a particular place and time. George Ann Byrd Danehower has done this with her first book of non-fiction short stories, set in the 1930s-1950s and centered in Mississippi County, Arkansas, at the northeastern corner of the state along the western bank of the Mississippi River. Her book is alive with detailed memories of “Daddy,” “Mother,” “Ruth,” “Papa and Mama Edwards,” and her siblings and countless relatives, friends, teachers, and customers, as well as characters like the Medicine Man, the Witch, the TB Lady, Tight the hired hand, and Caleb the thief and murderer. She tells of growing up in her family’s “house-store” in Mandalay, Arkansas, which was surrounded by “fields of white gold” (cotton), and then later in the small Arkansas town of Blytheville. As George Ann (her given name) points out in her Introduction: “We Southerners do love our tradition of storytelling; often our stories cause us to laugh to keep us from crying.” Each story captures a vivid memory of growing up in Arkansas, with its fierce natural beauty, strong family traditions, and complex social challenges.

Included among the 24 chapters are such tales as:

  • The Cotton Gin, Hide and Seek, and Spontaneous Combustion
  • Holy Rollers, followed by Soft Cream and a Picture Show
  • The First Day of My First 1st Grade
  • The First Day of My Second 1st Grade
  • The Test, the Worm, and Paralysis
  • The Biggest Worry of All
  • The Blues, Bladie Madie, and the Lord
  • The Weirdest Tale of All


Advance Praise for Fields of White Gold

"In this period of online tribes, super-stores, and air-conditioned-GPS-controlled farm machinery, the stories in Fields of White Gold reveal the gentle humor and the loving demands of a generous people with simple needs from another time. I remember personally what it felt like for a five-foot-tall boy to fill and drag an eleven-foot sack of cotton to the end of a long row and empty it into a wagon. George Ann Byrd Danehower is a gifted writer who speaks from the heart about a place she loved." — Ke Francis, “blue-collar” professional artist and writer from Tupelo, Mississippi

"Reading George Ann Byrd Danehower’s Fields of White Gold is like eavesdropping at an Arkansas family gathering. The stories satisfy our nostalgia for a childhood more nurturing than many children experience today." —Mary Gay Shipley, lifelong community leader in the Arkansas Delta

Product Reviews

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  1. White Gold 5 Star Review

    Posted by on Feb 5th 2020

    Excellent book. Author is a wonderful writer. Highly recommend. You can actually see in your mind what she talking about.

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