I am a journalist and author whose most recent book, The New Mind of the South, is now available from Simon & Schuster. It's a look at what my native region is becoming in the 21st century, and why it continues to be so misunderstood by Southerners and non-Southerners alike. I write about motherhood, current affairs and the tragic absurdities of life in my blog, The Blockhead Chronicles. Before I started doing what I do now, I was a big-city newspaper reporter for 15 years--eight years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and seven years at the Washington Post. I grew up in Georgia.