I am The Cracker Queen. It says so in my book. I am an unabashed and unapologetic Southern woman. My people still drink liquor from an ol’ fruit jar. Still know that stories are everything.
My book, The Cracker Queen—A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life, tells how I came up on the wrong side of the tracks among hellions, heroines, bad seeds, and renegades—also known as Mama and ‘em. The real-life characters in The Cracker Queen are folks everyone can relate to, like my Crazy Aunt Carrie. She shot her first four husbands and went to jail for assaulting a police dog. You know the type; every family has one. No?
Anyhow, my book celebrates a different kind of girl raised in the South: a strong, authentic, fearless, flawed, resourceful, and sometimes outrageous woman. But the book is for anyone, not just Southern women. The deeper theme is a very human one: how to triumph through hard times and emerge with your sense of humor intact. After all, Cracker Queens know that she who laughs, lasts.
SOUTHERN LIVING DOES NOT APPROVE OF THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE
Southern Living (SL) ran a Q&A with me last year. In an exclusive for readers of this blog, I’d like to share some of my responses that did not make it past the editorial board.
SL: Who’s the funniest person alive?
Me: Mama. She posts original sayings on her fridge. My favorite: “If it has tires or testicles, it’s gonna give you trouble.” (In retrospect, I guess that line wouldn’t go well next to a corn chowder recipe.)
SL: What about
do people not know? Georgia
Me: It rained dead birds in my hometown of
. 50,000 birds, 53 different species. (Okay, maybe dead birds don’t make for a good photo shoot either.) Warner Robins
SL: What is your biggest regret?
Me: Honey, Cracker Queens don’t have regrets!
SL: What talent do you wish you had?
Me: I wish I could time travel to a 1950 honky-tonk and hear Hank Williams.
SL: What’s your biggest fear?
Me: Playing it safe. Now that’s a scary thought.
SL: What’s your idea of happiness?
Me: An ample supply of books, a bottle of Black Bush Irish Whiskey, and a cat by my side.
SL: What’s your greatest success?
Me: When I make someone laugh.
Lauretta Hannon is the author of The Cracker Queen—A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life and a commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, where her stories reach 25.5 million listeners. Her memoir was named one of the Top Twenty-Five Books All Georgians Should Read, according to the
for the Book. She also offers writing seminars through her Georgia Center . Southern Living says she is “the funniest woman in Down Home Writing School .” Join the ruckus at thecrackerqueen.com. Georgia