Mississippi Solo A River Quest

Eddy Harris

Holt Paperbacks



Trade Paperback

256 Pages



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Mississippi Solo is the book that launched the career of America's premier African American memoirist and travel writer. It is the true story of a young black man's quest: to canoe the length of the Mississippi River from Minnesota to New Orleans. The trip's dangers were legion for a black man traveling alone, paddling from (as a friend put it) "where there ain't no black folks to where they still don't like us much." He encounters barge wakes, wild dogs, and two shotgun-toting bigots who nearly end his life in the calm of an Arkansas dusk. Equally significant were the people who reached out to Harris and shared in his adventure. A towboat captain who begins by talking of "niggers" ultimately welcomes Harris as a friend. And from bridges and shorelines comes waves of encouragement as Harris tells onlookers he's "headed for New Orleans."


Praise for Mississippi Solo

"A wonderful book—and a highly original contribution to the literature of travel."—Paul Theroux

"In his mastery of language, glinting irony, poetic prose, and uncanny powers of observation, Eddy L. Harris is the equal of Paul Theroux and Bruce Chatwin."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Eddy Harris

  • Eddy L. Harris, author of Mississippi Solo, Native Stranger, South of Haunted Dreams, and Still Life in Harlem, has generated the kind of notice and praise that attends the rise of only the finest talents. As America's premier African-American memoirist and travel writer, he has written with emotional depth and courage about the Mississippi River, Africa, the South, and Harlem respectively in these books. A graduate of Stanford University, he has also studied in London and has been a screenwriter and journalist. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.




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