But we should note that as a young man, Berry was also no “sticker.” He went away from his community as a high school boarding student and then as one at the University of Kentucky. Then there was Stanford, Europe, and New York City before he returned to Kentucky. And only a year after returning, now over 30 years old, did he renew his heritage of farming, though he continued for more than a decade to commute in order to teach at the University of Kentucky.
How different his young adulthood was than that of some of his fictional Port William characters like Danny Branch, who always remained deeply rooted in his small community. Danny appears in several of Berry’s works. In his wonderful short story “Fidelity” he was “growing a crop of his own” before he started high school. “He quit school the day he was sixteen and never thought of it again.” Two years later he married. “Danny never had belonged much to the modern world.” Yet he matures into a rock-solid member of the “Port William Membership” and is the hero of “Fidelity.”
via LA Progressive