Parnassus Books is pleased to welcome Ann Walling as she discusses and signs Sunday Dinner: Coming of Age in the Segregated South.
Sunday Dinner: Coming of Age in the Segregated South is a much-needed, honest commentary on the legitimacy of Southern values, as well as a nostalgic memoir. With the help of years of research, a bevy of primary sources including family recipes, and rich oral histories told by her numerous cousins, Walling vividly depicts the seemingly utopian lifestyle of the prominent families of a bygone era, as well as the darkness that lurked beneath the surface of their privilege, and the true implications of “right order.”
Filled with colorful characters, such as the legendary, boisterous Congressman, Private John Mills Allen (Ann’s great-grandfather), and beloved servants, Annie, Hattie, and “Aunt” Mary, who were almost considered a part of the family, Sunday Dinner is as heartwarming as it is eye opening. At this tumultuous juncture in our national history, when many Southerners are unwilling or unaware of how to separate their beloved traditions from overt prejudice, never has a book of this nature been so important.
Ann Walling is a native of Nashville, Tennessee. She was born to a family with deep roots in Mississippi and a history tightly bound to that of the region over the past two centuries. Her undergraduate degree is from Vanderbilt University. She earned her MA in theology from Scarritt College. In 2000, she became an ordained Episcopal priest and served for ten years as assistant to the rector of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Nashville. She was a founding member of The Low Country Water Project, an activist organization whose mission was to bring municipal water service to the native residents of Hilton Head Island, SC. Four children, two boys and two girls, call her “Mama.” Now retired, she spends her time keeping up with her three grandchildren and training her four dogs.