- Land Where My Fathers Died (1998)
- New Testament Stories
- Things I Wish Jesus Hadn’t Said
- Revival of the Gnostic Heresy: Fundamentalism
- Old Testament Stories
Born in New Albany, Mississippi, Joe Edd Morris grew up knowing about William Faulkner, who was also born in New Albany. Morris is, in addition to being a writer, a licensed psychologist in practice in Tupelo and a jury consultant. For over twenty years, he was a minister in the United Methodist Church. In addition, he writes a weekly column for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal called Stress Line. He also has done a successful radio talk show called The Doctor Is In.
Morris has written poetry and short stories which have appeared in the South Dakota Review, the Chattahoochee Review, the Concho River Review, the Appalachian Heritage, The Delta Review and The Poet. Three times he has won the William Faulkner Short Story Contest. His novel Land Where My Fathers Died was a semifinalist in the 1998 Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Prizes for Fiction and the 2003 winner of the Mississippi Library Association’s award for fiction.
Today Joe Edd Morris lives in Tupelo, Mississippi. Married to Sandi Morris; he has a step-son named Jason Stacy and two daughters named Meredith and Anna Katherine.
A Review of Land Where My Fathers Died
by Justin Harmon Leonard (SHS)
The book Land Where My Fathers Died by Joe Edd Morris is a fictional book about a young man named Jo Shelby Ferguson who has just been released from Parchman State Penitentiary in Mississippi. He was wrongly convicted of murder and was not released from prison for six years. Upon his release, he learns of the death of his parents and goes back to the plantation where he grew up. He returns to the family who owns the land and is offered the job of manager, a job which his father once had, but he declines.
After his arrival home, one of his friends returns to see him. As they speak to each other, he realizes that they have feelings for each other. While gathering all the things left of his family, he finds an old chest containing things passed down from many generations of his family. He finds an old Colt Navy pistol, a barlow knife, an old Bible, but most importantly, he finds some old letters written by his great-great-grandmother Caroline. His family had once owned the land that they worked on and the land had been in his family through the Civil War. He learns that his family and troops led by General Shelby went into Mexico to seek refuge from the Union Army after the war. He reads in each letter of all of their many troubles along the way and their arrival in Mexico City where they were welcomed by the Emperor Maximillian and his wife Carlota. He later learns of the rebellions going on in the country at the time and learns that his family was forced to leave their hacienda and split up.
After reading these letters, he decides to go in search of his family that he hopes is still in Mexico. He leaves Athen behind, but he really does care for her and never forgets her throughout his journey. He goes from steam ships to tankers over the gulf of Mexico and even into jail again for the gun he has. His journey is not easy, but friends along the way make the trip worthwhile. Every step that Jo Shelby Ferguson takes brings him closer and closer to finding the truth about his family. Morris uses some Mexican dialect which might lose some readers in places; but overall, this is an excellent book, and I found it very interesting and would recommend it to everyone.
- Context Books. Land Where My Fathers Died. <http://print.google.com/print/doc?isbn=189395627X>.
- Boykin, Thurman, “In The Shadow of Pulitzers” <http://www.mspress.org/boykin/2003_06_01_archive.html>, 2003.