Deep South

Paul Theroux’s book, Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads,
published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is now available
Photographs by Steve McCurry

DSC_4192, Deep South, Warren, Arkansas, USA, 09/2013, USA-10914. Pastime theatre. Final Deep South selection for Smithsonian. retouched_Sonny Fabbri 11/25/2014

Warren, Arkansas

Paul Theroux and I have been working together since 1984.
We did a book together on Indian railways;
we worked on an assignment together in Costa Rica, and  

I visited him at his home in Hawaii.
Deep South is our second book collaboration.

DSC_2357, Elberton, Georgia, Deep South, USA, 09/2013, USA-10910. Abandoned garden. Retouched_Sonny Fabbri 4/15/2013
Elberton, Georgia

Paul has a keen sense of humor and a sharp wit.
He’s able to cut through the nonsense to find the truth.

DSC_4121; Deep South; Allendale, South Carolina, USA; 04/2014, USA-10998NF2. An old interstate sign. final_Smithsonian Web Article Retouched by Sonny Fabbri 7/15/2015
Allendale, South Carolina

DSC_6123, Deep South, Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA, 04/2014, USA-11044. A statue beside a house. CHECK IMAGE USAGE final_Smithsonian Magazine retouched_Sonny Fabbri 7/15/2015
Natchez, Mississippi
This  house served as Union headquarters during the Civil War

DSC_5190, Deep South, Philadelphia, Mississippi, USA, 04/2014, USA-11024NF. Street view of Philadelphia water tower. retouched_Sonny Fabbri 7/15/2015
Philadelphia, Mississippi

DSC_6664, Deep South, Arcola, Mississippi, United States, 04/2014, DSC_6753, DSC_6803, DSC_6804, USA-11060. A woman folds the American flag. retouched_Sonny Fabbri 7/15/2015
Ruby Johnson, Postermaster
Arcola, Mississippi

“…the vitality of the South lies in the self-awareness of its deeply rooted people.
What made the South an enlightenment for a traveler like me, more interested in conversation than sightseeing,
was the heart and soul of its family narratives — its human wealth.”
– quoted by Bret Lott, Boston Globe

_DSC9480, Deep South, Alabama, USA, 2013, USA-10795. Barber Eugene Lyles relaxes in his shop. Final Deep South selection for Smithsonian_web Retouched_Sonny Fabbri 07/31/2015
Reverend Eugene Lyles
Greensboro, Alabama

“Ones born today don’t know how it was.”
– Rev. Lyles

DSC_3178, Deep South, USA, 09/2013, USA-10972. Reverend Lyles’s annotated Bible, on the desk in his barbershop retouched_Sonny Fabbri 7/15/2015 Deep South_Book_HMH
Reverend Lyles’s annotated Bible on the desk in his barbershop.
 Greensboro, Alabama

“A church in the South is the beating heart of the community,
the social center, the anchor of faith, the beacon of light,
the arena of music, the gathering place, offering hope, counsel,
welfare, warmth, fellowship, melody, harmony, and snacks.”
– Paul Theroux, Deep South

DSC_9779, Deep South, Alabama, USA, 2013, USA-10797. Mary Ward Brown in her home. Final Deep South selection for Smithsonian. retouched_Sonny Fabbri 7/20/2015
Award-winning short story writer, Mary Ward Brown, two months before she died.
Hamburg, Alabama

“She wrote like a tortoise,” the Southern historian Wayne Flynt wrote after Ms. Brown’s death,
“sniffing out every nook and cranny of existence, watching and listening as black and white lives
bumped up against each other.  When readers from Russia to Reeltown discover her stories,
they find universal meaning there, collisions of prejudices,
grievances, misunderstandings, failures, as well as
triumphs, kindnesses and generosity.”
– New York Times, May 22, 2013

DSC_4306, Deep South, Sylvania, Geogia, USA, 04/2014, USA-10995. The Dreamland Motel. CHECK IMAGE USAGE final_Smithsonian Magazine Retouched_Sonny Fabbri 7/15/2015
Sylvania, Georgia


DSC_5648, Deep South, Greensboro, Alabama, USA, 04/2014, USA-11019NF. Janet May walking with a basket of flowers. Retouched_Sonny Fabbri 7/15/2015
Janet May in front of her Bed and Breakfast.
Greensboro, Alabama


_DSC0529, Deep South, USA, 03/2013, USA-10778. Man steps from front porch. Retouched_Sonny Fabbri 7/06/2015
Melvin Johnson on the porch of his family’s nineteenth-century house, which he’s lived in for more than fifty years.
Allendale, South Carolina


USA-10791NF2Demopolis, Alabama


USA-10794NF2Demopolis, Alabama


_DSC5744, Deep South, outside Palestine, Arkansas, USA, 04/2014, USA-10943. Delores Walker Robinson holds a goat on her cattle farm. CHECK IMAGE USAGE Final Deep South Selection_Smithsonian Online Publication Retouched_Sonny Fabbri 7/15/2015
Delores Walker Robinson on her farm
Palestine, Arkansas


USA-10907Mississippi River
Natchez, Mississippi


_DSC9436, Deep South, USA, 2013, USA-10793. A funeral home. retouched_Sonny Fabbri
Greensboro, Alabama


BIO-10930Paul Theroux and Steve McCurry. Allendale, South Carolina



Maps of Paul’s travels during his research for the book during four seasons on back roads

To purchase a copy

About the author

Steve McCurry has been a one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than 30 years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

Born in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; McCurry studied film at Pennsylvania State University, before going on to work for a local newspaper. After several years of freelance work, McCurry made his first of what would become many trips to India. Traveling with little more than a bag of clothes and another of film, he made his way across the subcontinent, exploring the country with his camera.

It was after several months of travel that he found himself crossing the border into Pakistan. There, he met a group of refugees from Afghanistan, who smuggled him across the border into their country, just as the Russian Invasion was closing the country to all western journalists. Emerging in traditional dress, with full beard and weather-worn features after weeks embedded with the Mujahideen, McCurry brought the world the first images of the conflict in Afghanistan, putting a human face to the issue on every masthead.

Since then, McCurry has gone on to create stunning images over six continents and countless countries. His work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike - yet always retains the human element that made his celebrated image of the Afghan Girl such a powerful image.

McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest, to name a few.