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In Depth with Shelby Foote
Mr. Foote conducted a tour of his home. Then, sitting at the desk where he does all his writing, talked about his entire body of work, described his writing process, and responded to audience telephone calls and electronic mail.52,422 views
Mr. Foote’s first novel, Tournament, was published in 1949, followed quickly by three other works of fiction: Follow Me Down (1950), Love in a Dry Season (1951), and Shiloh (1952). The success of Shiloh prompted Random House publisher Bennett Cerf to ask Mr. Foote to write a short history of the U.S. Civil War to be published for the hundredth anniversary of the conflict. He worked on this three-volume history of the war for twenty years, finally completing it in 1974. The trilogy includes Fort Sumter to Perryville, published in 1958, Fredericksburg to Meridian, published in 1963, and finally Red River to Appomattox, published in 1974. In 1977 Mr. Foote published September, September, a novel about events in the south in 1957. In 1998, Jay Tolson edited and published The Correspondence of Shelby Foote and Walker Percy, documenting Foote’s sixty-year friendship with southern novelist Walker Percy through the letters they exchanged. Also in 1998, Shelby Foote wrote a 10,000 word introduction to a new Modern Library edition of Stephen Crane’s Red Badge of Courage, the 19th-century classic Civil War novel. Mr. Foote has been a Guggenheim Fellow, and a lecturer at the University of Virginia and Memphis State.