Holding On by David Isay
Dreamers, Visionaries, Eccentrics, and Other American Heroes

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Synopsis

"A collection of unexpected characters, intriguing characters, lovingly assembled. It's a fine read."--Mike Wallace

This book is a tribute to some of America's greatest characters, people holding on to unique ways of life at all costs. A castle builder, a forty-year veteran Woolworth's lunch-counter waitress, a moonshiner, and the president of The Brooklyn Elite Checker Club are among this varied group of ordinary people who prevail against all odds. They are Dewey Chafin and Barbara Elkins, snake handlers for the Church of the Lord Jesus in Jolo, West Virginia; Amos Powers, caretaker of America's only coon-dog graveyard in Colbert County, Alabama; Dixie Evans, curator of Exotic World, Museum of Burlesque in Helendale, California; and Mike Gashwarza of the Hopi tribe, fighting against electricity being brought to Old Oraibi, Arizona, the oldest town in North America.

David Isay's compelling, often humorous profiles are accompanied by Harvey Wang's wonderful portraits of fifty such people, die-hard individualists who speak for themselves, illuminating their remarkable lives and personalities. Henry Roth's foreword is a moving testament to the creativity, tenacity, and dignity these people possess. Photographs
 

About David Isay

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David Isay is an award-winning radio producer and regular contributor to National Public Radio. He lives in New York City. Harvey Wang is a professional photographer living and working in New York City. His work appears in many magazines and periodicals and in Rock Wives and Where Have You Gone Vince Dimaggio? Henry Roth (1906-1995) is the author of Call It Sleep, An American Type and the quartet Mercy of a Rude Stream.
 
Published May 17, 1997 by W. W. Norton & Company. 216 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Holding On

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Like traveling the Blue Highways with Studs Terkel, Isay's visits amplify lives richly and fully--if sometimes weirdly--lived.

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Publishers Weekly

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The 50 individuals profiled in this delightful collection all were interviewed by Isay on his National Public Radio series The American Folklife Radio Project.

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