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Rick Bragg

Pulitzer Prize-winning memoirist and bestselling author

  • About Rick Bragg

    Rick Bragg won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 1996 for his work at The New York Times. Born in Piedmont, Alabama, in 1959, Mr. Bragg is the author of two bestselling memoirs, All Over But the Shoutin’ and Ava’s Man, as well as The Prince of Frogtown, The Best Cook in the World, and Where I Come From. Bragg has told stories and taught writing at Harvard University, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, Boston University, the University of South Florida, and other colleges.

    Bragg became a domestic correspondent in The New York Times’s Atlanta office in 1994. Before joining The Times he worked at several newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the St. Petersburg Times. In his reporting he has covered murders and unrest in Haiti, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Jonesboro, Arkansas, killings (1998), the Susan Smith trial, and more. He became The New York Times’s Miami bureau chief just in time for Elián González’s arrival (late 1999) and the international controversy surrounding the Cuban boy.

    Bragg attended Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow from 1992 to 1993 (“the only real college I ever had”), and, besides his Pulitzer Prize, he is the recipient of the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award and 31 other national, regional, and state writing awards. He has had stories included in Best Newspaper Writing 1991, Best of the Press 1988, and two journalism textbooks on good writing and foreign reporting.

    He now works as a writing professor at the University of Alabama’s journalism program in its College of Communications and Information Sciences.

  • Speaking Topics

    The Southern Writer

    What is it that makes the South such fertile ground for writers? Author Rick Bragg tries to explain the pathos, violence, and humor that hang in the humid air, but disagrees that it has even one thing to do with "The War."

    The Muse

    Some insist that there is a magical, fairy-like creature that flits into our writing mind and spills lovely sentences. Writer Rick Bragg says the process is a bit uglier than that.

    Writing in Color

    The reader will not go with you unless you show him a road of color, imagery, detail. Good, terse writing might be fine . . . for a lumber yard inventory.

  • Video

  • Praise for Rick Bragg


    He was excellent, had the audience laughing at times and near tears other times. During Q &A, one man thanked him for giving a voice to the voiceless in his writing several years ago — related to assembly line workers losing their jobs. Bragg signed books and visited with folks for 45 minutes after his speech and was engaging with each one.

    Dahlonega Literary Festival

    Rick Bragg was absolutely WONDERFUL! Our members laughed and loved every minute of his program. We cannot wait to have him back again someday! We had 360 in attendance (wow!) and had to setup overflow seating due to a large turnout! He kept the audience laughing and was so personable and easy going. One of the nicest and best storytellers I have ever met, and I know our members would agree.

    The Woman’s Club at the Bolling Haxall House, Richmond, Virginia

    Rick was even kinder than we expected and it was our great pleasure to have him as our guest. We have heard so many nice comments about the event, but most impressive are the ones we have received about Rick.  People loved his presentation, and I think that many would have sat and listened for as long as he wished to speak.  They were just in awe of how kind and gracious he was to each and every person.  Folks who had books signed were simply amazed at the time he took speaking with them as well as the unique personal messages he created for their books.

    Calloway County Public Library

    Praise for The Speckled Beauty

    This moving book is a literary ode to canine love.

    The Washington Post

    Pulitzer Prize-winning memoirist Rick Bragg (The Best Cook in the World; My Southern Journey) grew out of rural Southern poverty, but the spirit of his storytelling has made him—and legions of readers—rich beyond measure . . . Amid dark days, bright Speck shows up at just the right time. How fortunate for readers that the joy of his presence—enhanced by the wit and wisdom of Bragg’s inimitable prose—will resonate far beyond the Bragg homestead.

    Kathleen Gerard, Shelf Awareness

    If you’re a dog lover and want to treat yourself to a beautifully written story that will make your whole self smile, read this memoir by Rick Bragg. His writing is so powerful that it made my heart weep. Savor this book.

    Florida Times-Union

    I knew from the beginning that I would love The Speckled Beauty, but I did not realize just how much. Once I began this memoir, I did not want to put it down. Though Speck is the center of the story, Bragg’s compassionate portraits of his family members made me love them all. As the family grows and changes, so too does Speck, and Bragg creates a profoundly moving tableau.

    Ashley Riggleson, The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

    Bragg has done it again, focusing his lyrical prose on one aspect of his Southern roots while managing to embrace much larger terrain in the process . . . [The Speckled Beauty] delights the senses and is as honest as the day is long.

    David Holahan, USA Today

    Bragg’s descriptions are vivid, his use of colorful place names is enchanting, and while the story is Speck’s, whenever Bragg turns the camera on himself you find you like and empathize with him a little more each time . . . ‘My people think a good story will fix just about anything,’ Bragg writes, and in this case it might actually be true.

    Laurie Hertzel, Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Rick Bragg spins his mesmerizing tales of life down South with characteristically wry humor and wisdom . . . The Speckled Beauty takes its place beside Willie Morris’ My Dog Skip, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ animal narratives and William Faulkner’s dog stories—as well as all those short tales of devoted dogs in Field & Stream—confirming once more Bragg’s enduring artfulness and cracking good ability to spin memorable, affectionate tales.

    Henry L. Carrigan Jr., BookPage [Starred Review]

    Bragg’s story will resonate with dog lovers and with his many fans, who will recognize this book’s enjoyably colloquial tone from his monthly essays in Southern Living magazine.

    —Susan Riley, Library Journal [Starred Review]

    Praise for Where I Come From

    Poignant... The columns are clever, unassuming, and, most notably, told in a distinctive voice. They do what good columns do: sometimes tug at your heart, sometimes make you laugh to yourself, sometimes both. You read one and then go on with your day with a better sense of what it’s like to be from somewhere.

    Kirkus Reviews

    A generous helping of folksy wit and charm... There are laugh-out-loud moments throughout.

    Publishers Weekly

    Praise for The Best Cook in the World

    The beloved author of All Over but the Shoutin’ has written a loving tribute to his mother, the South, stories, tradition, and a disappearing way of life.

    Saturday Evening Post

    Readers of this book will learn about Bragg’s mother’s kitchen, of course, but also about what makes food good, and what role food can play in a family and in a culture. Just thinking about this book is making us hungry.


    A beautifully written memoir… For readers who crave soul with their recipes this is a fitting tribute to foodways that are fast escaping.

    Library Journal (starred review)
  • Books by Rick Bragg

  • Media About Rick Bragg

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  • 212 572-2013
  • Rick Bragg travels from Tuscaloosa, AL

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