From the blue suede intonations of Elvis's Graceland in Memphis to the columnar austerity of mansions along State Street in Jackson, Highway 51 flows, an artery of commerce, music, and literary interchange. Highway 51 is the first photography book to focus on this storied route through Mississippi hill country, a defining but often overlooked region of the state. In ninety color photographs Gloria Norris captures the landmarks, the beautiful and rugged scenery, the people, and their unforgettable music. Her images serve as a confirmation of tradition in this part of Mississippi and as a reminder of what has changed forever. This road connects William Faulkner's fierce hill counties and Eudora Welty's resonant terrains, Elvis's hip-shaking boogies and R. L. Burnside's hypnotically grinding blues. Highway 51 depicts a natural world sometimes swept by violent tornadoes and rainstorms but dominated by rolling, green landscapes and a society that still lives close to the soil. In Norris's photographs, people and places reveal the many contradictions of life along this much-traveled path. With an introduction by Rick Bass, this volume offers a vision of a distinctive culture and setting that until now has been little documented.