John McElwee with Chris Fowler

John McElwee works in book-to-film development in New York. He last wrote for the Oxford American about the Blue Monday Shad Fry in eastern North Carolina.

Chris Fowler is a folklorist, writer, and photographer. He lives in a log cabin in North Carolina.

April 12, 2016

After a day in Itta Bena, Mississippi, we were no closer to finding Lewis Nordan. No one we’d met actually knew him or his work, or even cared much to hear about it. Using the books as maps led to contradictions and dead ends; names of recognizable sites shift across his stories and novels. Even in his memoir, Nordan changes names and flat out invents things.