The Inner Islands

A Carolinian's Sound Country Chronicle

By Bland Simpson

232 pp., 7 x 10, 54 illus., 4 maps, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-7125-6
    Published: March 2010
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-7674-9
    Published: September 2007
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-7553-2
    Published: September 2007

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Blending history, oral history, autobiography, and travel narrative, Bland Simpson explores the islands that lie in the sounds, rivers, and swamps of North Carolina's inner coast. In each of the fifteen chapters in the book, Simpson covers a single island or group of islands, many of which, were it not for the buffering Outer Banks, would be lost to the ebbs and flows of the Atlantic. Instead they are home to unique plant and animal species and well-established hardwood forests, and many retain vestiges of an earlier human history.

About the Authors

Bland Simpson is a member of the Tony Award-winning Red Clay Ramblers and has collaborated on such musicals as King Mackerel, Kudzu, and the Broadway hit Fool Moon. He teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was the 2005 Fine Arts recipient of the North Carolina Award, the state's highest civilian honor. His books include Ghost Ship of Diamond Shoals and Into the Sound Country, which also features photography by his wife, Ann.
For more information about Bland Simpson, visit the Author Page.

Ann Cary Simpson is associate dean of the School of Government at UNC Chapel Hill.
For more information about Ann Cary Simpson, visit the Author Page.


"Well-rounded. . . . A perfect guide. . . . Highly recommended reading."--Sea History

"The Simpsons provide yet another memorable portrait of a region that's endlessly fascinating. . . . [Bland Simpson is] a gifted storyteller with an evocative style. . . . Anne Simpson's striking black-and-white photos complete the vision. . . . A keepsake."--Our State

"Simpson imparts the fleeting nature of island life to his readers, capturing the mood of each place with his unique voice and style, interspersing archival history and lore with his own experience."--Coastland Times

"Part travel log, part history, part memoir delicately tinged with Elizabethan syntax, Simpson's north-to-south trip through some of the state's least known locales will make you want to rent a boat and travel from Machelhe Island to the Cape Fear chain."--Pilot

"Simpson's words are elegant, and the descriptions multi-layered. . . . Whether you're a native of the Old North State or a more recent transplant, Simpson's narrative should be required reading. You can't beat the combination of one of our best writers with one of the most intriguing and vital parts of the state."--Creative Loafing

"[Simpson's] love of these islands shines through on every page."--Bloomsbury Review