Frasier, Jim 1954-

views updated

FRASIER, Jim 1954-

(John James Fraiser, III)

PERSONAL: Born October 27, 1954, in New Orleans, LA; son of John J., Jr. (a judge) and Adelyn Gerald (Stokes) Fraiser; married; children: two daughters. Education: University of Mississippi, B.A., 1976, J.D., 1979.

ADDRESSES: Office—Choctaw Legal Defense, 2 Tribal Annex, P.O. Box 6255, Choctaw, MS 39350-6255. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Pelican Publishing Co., P.O. Box 3110, Gretna, LA 70054. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Hinds County, MS, assistant district attorney, 1980–82; in private practice, 1982–95; Mississippi Office of the Attorney General Civil Litigation Division, special assistant attorney general, 1995―. New State Theater, Jackson, MS, actor, 1981–91; University of Mississippi and Mississippi University for Women, paralegal instructor, 1990–93. Actor in films, including Good Ole Boy, 1988; Mississippi Burning, 1989, and Blind Vengeance, 1992.

MEMBER: Screen Actors Guild.

AWARDS, HONORS: William S. Richardson Memorial Award for Poetry.


M Is for Mississippi: An Irreverent Guide to the Magnolia State, Persimmon Press (Jackson, MS), 1990.

Shadow Seed (novel), Black Belt Press (Montgomery, AL), 1997.

For the Love of the Game: The Holy Wars of Millsaps College and Mississippi College Football, Mississippi Sports Council (Jackson, MS), 2000.

Mississippi River Country Tales: A Celebration of 500 Years of Deep South History, foreword by William F. Winter, Pelican Publishing Co. (Gretna, LA), 2001.

The Majesty of the Mississippi Delta, photography by West Freeman, foreword by John C. Willis, Pelican Publishing Co. (Gretna, LA), 2002.

The French Quarter of New Orleans, photography by West Freeman, University of Mississippi Press (Jackson, MS), 2003.

The Majesty of Eastern Mississippi and the Coast, photography by Rick Guy, foreword by John J. Fraiser, Jr., Pelican Publishing Co. (Gretna, LA), 2004.

Author of plays, including Love in the Ruins (adaptation of the novel by Walker Percy), produced 1989; The Sun Also Rises (adaptation of the novel by Ernest Hemingway), produced 1990; Cosmos by Copernicus, produced 1991; and The Judas Principle, produced 1992. Contributor to periodicals, including Greenwood Commonwealth, Daily Mississippian, Clarion Ledger, North Mississippi Business Journal, Down South, National Women Lawyers Journal, Mississippi Lawyer, and American Bar Association Journal. Jackson Business Journal, contributing editor; Northside Sun, contributing writer.

SIDELIGHTS: Jim Frasier is an attorney and educator, as well as an actor and writer. He also serves as staff attorney for the Mississippi Choctaw tribe. Several of his original plays and adaptations have been produced, and he has also appeared in films. Frasier's books include a novel and a number of volumes that celebrate Southern places, history, and football.

Fraiser, who grew up in Greenwood, Mississippi, was a member of Greenwood High School's first integrated graduating class. In Mississippi River Country Tales: A Celebration of 500 Years of Deep South History he collects stories and legends about the "Big Muddy" and the region. Frasier expands his tribute to his home state with The Majesty of Eastern Mississippi and the Coast.

The Majesty of the Mississippi Delta includes a sprinkling of literary quotations that enhance Frasier's descriptions of buildings, plantations, and other landmarks, as well as restaurants that offer the best of Southern cuisine. Frasier's chosen subjects span Vicksburg, Rolling Fork, Yazoo City, Greenville, Lake Washington, Cleveland, Greenwood, Oxford, Clarksdale, Holly Spring, and Port Gibson. New Orleans native West Freeman provides the accompanying photographs, which also feature period furniture and contemporary gardens. A Times-Picayune writer felt that readers "will want to drive to Lusco's in Greenwood for pompano and steaks or head to Clarksdale for the catfish cakes at Madidi's."

In addition to showcasing buildings that date back as far as the early nineteenth century, in The Majesty of the Mississippi Delta Fraiser also comments on contemporary additions to the Delta scene, including the Ground Zero Blues Club, partly owned by actor Morgan Freeman, which is located in the former Delta Grocery and Cotton Company. Other landmarks include the Mississippi River bridge at Vicksburg, the Leflore County Courthouse, and the Illinois Memorial in Vicksburg National Military Park. Library Journal contributor Joseph L. Carlson wrote that "Fraiser presents the right mixture of history and folklore to make the book readable by anyone interested in architecture." Julie Whitehead noted in the Mississippi Business Journal that by "drawing on his hometown boy status and family connections in the area, Frasier was able to photograph many private residences not available to the average tourist—in a remarkably friendly fashion." Of additonal interest is the fact that his book captures the city of New Orleans prior to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Fraiser rejoined photographer West Freeman to create The French Quarter of New Orleans, in which the culture, history, and architecture of the "Big Easy" is on display. Times-Picayune book editor Susan Larson wrote that the volume, which includes 160 color photographs of the region's best-known landmarks, "belongs on every New Orleans coffee table." Fraiser and Freeman showcase such destinations as the Napoleon House bar, Antoine's, Galatoire's, and the Monteleone. "There are lovely series of photographs devoted to Gallier House and to the home of Lindy Boggs," noted Larson, adding that "The picture captions are complete and very useful."



Library Journal, April 1, 2002, Joseph L. Carlson, review of The Majesty of the Mississippi Delta, p. 129.

Mississippi Business Journal, February 4, 2002, Julie Whitehead, review of The Majesty of the Mississippi Delta, p. 30.

Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), January 24, 2002, review of The Majesty of the Mississippi Delta, "Living," p. 1; September 28, 2003, Susan Larson, review of The French Quarter of New Orleans, p. 7.


University of Mississippi Web site, (June 4, 2005), "Jim Frasier."