The American river has a rich literary heritage, extending from Twain and Thoreau to the more recent journeys of John Graves and Jonathan Raban. ... Show synopsis The American river has a rich literary heritage, extending from Twain and Thoreau to the more recent journeys of John Graves and Jonathan Raban. Following in this great tradition, Franklin Burroughs chronicles a canoe voyage through the Carolinas, visiting his ancestral homeland and the people who inhabit the banks of the Waccamaw River. His account of this distinctive and rapidly disintegrating backwater reflects on life on and off the river, topography, and how this landscape echoes in the speech, memories, and circumstances of the people he encounters. Their lives provide a kind of living archaeology, and Burroughs's careful descriptions of their voices and habits open a door into history. As quiet and powerful as a river itself, this is a wise and beautifully written narrative of nature, people, and place by one of America's finest writers.