In The Sticks
Wilie Little, Artist & Author
A masterpiece! With the storytelling by Wilie Little, this audio version of In the Sticks sets a new high bar for audiobooks. Willie painstakingly adds not only his voice to the book but also oversaw the production by Avalon Recorders in Muscle Shoals, Alabama to ensure every element and effect was delivered to perfection.
With vivid descriptions and emotion, he takes us back to his childhood and we feel like we’re there experiencing it with him. Highly recommended.
Willie Little (nicknamed Bozo) believes life on his family’s tobacco farm is perfect until he stumbles upon a secret that changes his world forever. He finds himself caught in a family triangle between two women similarly named, but as different as night and day.
This is not the only discovery that unfolds – or the only secret encountered by this sensitive child who feels different from everyone around him.
Ostracized by older boys working on his father’s 13-acre farm and involuntarily enlisted (at age 6) to ease North Carolina into school desegregation in 1968, Bozo escapes the confines of his family’s ramshackle, lime green, asbestos-shingled, shotgun shack to the bigger, unimagined world via a 19-inch Philco black and white television on chrome wheels, at the foot of his bed.
In the Sticks is a coming-of-age story of growing up in the late 60s and 70s and grappling with family, love, pain, shame and a sense of belonging. It is a story of how art became his destiny, and how art helped him overcome the marginalization of being a gay black man, from the rural south. It’s one man’s journey to overcome the longing to be anywhere, but where he lived– off Sticks Road, in the Pactolus township near Little Washington, North Carolina.
This audiobook is narrated by Willie and recorded at East Avalon Recorders in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Charles Holloman, Colin Lott, and musician Will Allison meticulously infused performance, special effects, and music to Willie’s signature southern storytelling style noteworthy in his installation Juke Joint, part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and traveling installation, In My Own Little Corner. Both exhibits are seasoned with narrative sections, lifted from the pages of this new audiobook, an expanded version of his memoir and art book of the same title.
Running time: 7 hours, 42 minutes