Scott Huler, "A Delicious Country"
Scott Huler, A Delicious Country: Rediscovering the Carolinas Along the Route of Jown Lawson't 1700 Expedition
Wendesday, April 17, 7pm
In 1700, a young man named John Lawson left London and landed in Charleston, South Carolina, hoping to make a name for himself. For reasons unknown, he soon undertook a two-month journey through the still-mysterious Carolina backcountry. His travels yielded A New Voyage to Carolina in 1709, one of the most significant early American travel narratives, rich with observations about the region's environment and Indigenous people. Lawson later helped found North Carolina's first two cities, Bath and New Bern; became the colonial surveyor general; contributed specimens to what is now the British Museum; and was killed as the first casualty of the Tuscarora War. Yet despite his great contributions and remarkable history, Lawson is little remembered, even in the Carolinas he documented.
In 2014, Scott Huler made a surprising decision: to leave home and family for his own journey by foot and canoe, faithfully retracing Lawson's route through the Carolinas. This is the chronicle of that unlikely voyage, revealing what it's like to rediscover your own home. Combining a traveler's curiosity, a naturalist's keen observation, and a writer's wit, Huler draws our attention to people and places we might pass regularly but never really see. What he finds are surprising parallels between Lawson's time and our own, with the locals and their world poised along a knife-edge of change between a past they can't forget and a future they can't quite envision.
Scott Huler is the author of six books of nonfiction and the upcoming A Delicious Country (spring 2019). He has written on everything from the death penalty to bikini waxing, from NASCAR racing to the stealth bomber, for such newspapers as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Los Angeles Times and such magazines as Backpacker, Fortune, and ESPN. His award-winning radio work has been heard on "All Things Considered" and "Day to Day" on National Public Radio and on "Marketplace" and "Splendid Table" on American Public Media. He has been a staff writer for the Philadelphia Daily News and the Raleigh News & Observer and a staff reporter and producer for Nashville Public Radio. He was the founding and managing editor of the Nashville City Paper. He has taught at such colleges as Berry College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His books have been translated into five languages. He was 2011 Piedmont Laureate in creative nonfiction, a 2002-2003 Knight-Wallace Fellow at Michigan, and a 2014-2015 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. He currently works as the senior writer at Duke Magazine and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife, the writer June Spence, and their two sons.