Among the Swamp People is the story of author Watt Key’s discovery of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. “The swamp” consists of almost 260,000 acres of wetlands located just north of Mobile Bay. There he leases a habitable outcropping of land and constructs a primitive cabin from driftwood to serve as a private getaway. His story is one that chronicles the beauties of the delta’s unparalleled natural wonders, the difficulties of survival within it, and an extraordinary community of characters—by turns generous and violent, gracious and paranoid, hilarious and reckless—who live, thrive, and perish there.
There is no way into the delta except by small boat. To most it would appear a maze of rivers and creeks between stunted swamp trees and mud. Key observes that there are few places where one can step out of a boat without “sinking to the knees in muck the consistency of axle grease. It is the only place I know where gloom and beauty can coexist at such extremes. And it never occurred to me that a land seemingly so bleak could hide such beauty and adventure.”
It also chronicles Key’s maturation as a writer, from a twenty-five-year-old computer programmer with no formal training as a writer to a highly successful, award-winning writer of fiction for a young adult audience with three acclaimed novels published to date.
In learning to make a place for himself in the wild, as in learning to write, Key’s story is one of “hoping someone—even if just myself—would find value in my creations.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Albert Watkins “Watt” Key Jr. is a novelist, screenwriter, and speaker living on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. His debut novel, Alabama Moon, was released to national acclaim in 2006, won the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award for Older Readers, and has been published in eight languages to date. In 2009, Alabama Moon was made into a feature film starring John Goodman. Key’s follow-up novel, Dirt Road Home, was released in 2010 both domestically and internationally. His third novel, Fourmile, was released in September of 2012, receiving starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal. In addition to novels and screenplays, Key writes fiction and nonfiction articles for both local and nationally distributed publications. Key divides his time in Alabama between Mobile, Point Clear, and the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta.
PRAISE FOR AMONG THE SWAMP PEOPLE
“Among the Swamp People is laugh-out-loud funny and filled with vivid characters, salty dialogue, and poignant moments by a writer of great insight and skill.”
—John S. Sledge, author of The Mobile River
“Among the Swamp People takes the form of one tall tale after another, made believable by the fact that you’d be hard-pressed to make them up. Key gives us a readable, engaging, slice-of-life insight into a world that most of us hardly know at all.”
—Frye Gaillard, author of Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement That Changed America and coauthor of In the Path of the Storms: Bayou La Batre, Coden, and the Alabama Coast
6 X 8, 208 pp
ISBN: 978-0-8173-1885-7 Cloth
ISBN: 978-0-8173-8890-4 Ebook