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Hill of Beans has been compared by publishing professionals to the seminal writers like William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor and even Laura Ingalls Wilder

Hill of Beans, Coming of Age in the Last Days of the Old South

By John Snyder

Hill of Beans This memoir of growing up in the Old South during the Depression evokes a time gone by.  And while it is a loving memoir, it is populated by real people dealing with hard times, sometimes with cruelty, sometimes with violence–including a mysterious case of arson that forever changed John Snyder’s life.

Hill of Beans has been compared by publishing professionals to the seminal writers like William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor and even Laura Ingalls Wilder

The early comments of John Snyder’s remarkable, poignant account of growing up in Depression era South Carolina are in and they are glowing:

“This is great stuff, extremely well remembered. There can’t be many memories left of this time and place, and these are richly told.”… Roy Blount, Jr. humorist and author of 22 books including Crackers, Be Sweet and Alphabet Juice.

“John Snyder has conjured up a vanished world. The hardscrabble South he depicts in this beautifully evocative memoir calls to mind Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor. It’s a work of inspired anthropology, rich in folklore, and a work of literature.”—James Atlas, author of Bellow: A Biography and a memoir My Life in the Middle Ages.

“An absorbing and moving exploration of the effect of environment on character.” Jonathan Galassi

“John Snyder writes beautifully and evocatively of a time, a moment in history, and of the people in a way that makes you feel as if you are right alongside him. I loved this book.”—Kathy Pories, Senior editor, Algonquin Books

“If you had the sort of adventurous, bittersweet childhood that many children only dream about after reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books in school, John  Snyder’s Hill of Beans will be irresistible. From the tremendous, larger-than-life father to the stiflingly cruel Aunt Bess, Snyder transmits the images and feelings of a unique childhood wonderfully.”—Lydia Crowe, University of Iowa

“As spellbinding, nuanced, intricate, evocative, and absorbing as his highly crafted metal-and-wood sculptures, John Snyder’s magical, magnificent Hill of Beans is a swirling, recursive American Journey through the rivers and woods and fields of a boy’s formative years, along highways of perception, memory, language, and expression, asking what it means to imagine, yearn, experience, and love.”–David M. Darst, investment analyst and author of six books, including The Art of Asset Allocation and The Little Book that Saves Your Assets

Author Bio

John Snyder grew up in North and South Carolina, attended the University of Chicago and moved to New York in 1959. He worked as a buyer for Bloomingdale’s, in carpet manufacturing, and finally in finance, retiring as an executive director after 13 years at Morgan Stanley. Along the way, he was awarded seven patents, made an industrial film that won first place in the NY Film Festival, and wrote 2 off-Broadway plays. Throughout his working career, he maintained a machine shop for making prototypes of inventions and turning found objects into sculpture. In retirement he continues to make sculpture (, and has written this memoir, the first of three parts. He and his wife divide their time between New York City and Cedar Mountain, North Carolina. 

Hill of Beans

208 pages softcover/6 X 9/60 b/w images, map, index to come/June Publication/$24.00