1997: The television movie Old Man, based on the novella
by William Faulkner,
was broadcast on CBS. (Feb. 9)
NEWS about MISSISSIPPI WRITERS
Center to compile encylopedia of Mississippi
January 28, 2002
By Deidre Jackson
University News Services, University of Mississippi
UNIVERSITY, Miss. The University of Mississippis
Center for the Study of Southern
Culture has received a $50,000 planning grant from the National Endowment
for the Humanities (NEH) to compose the Mississippi Encyclopedia, an
exhaustive historical reference book.
Mississippi is a place with a strong sense
of the past to our present and future, said Dr. Charles
Reagan Wilson, center director. Mississippi Encyclopedia will
not only provide authoritative information on our states history and culture,
but will help enrich our appreciation for the diversity of our experience.
Featuring listings from Adams County and Alcorn
State University to author Stark Young
and the town of Zion Hill, the one-volume hardback edition will include some
2,500 entries contained within 800 pages.
The project will total some $400,000, with additional
funding from outside sources disbursed over four years. Mississippi Encyclopedia
is set to be published in late 2005 or 2006.
In 2000, the center began the joint project
with the Mississippi Humanities Council, the University Press of Mississippi
and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Distinguished as the
first regional studies center to offer bachelors and masters degree
programs in Southern studies, the UM center this fiscal year (2002) is the recipient
of one of 363 NEH grants totaling $21.6 million.
This is truly a collaborative effort project
that will require our working with institutions and individuals throughout the
state and nation, said Wilson, also professor of history on the Oxford
Among an impressive list of achievements of
the center, which has been studying the South since its founding in 1977, is
the publication of the award-winning The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture,
(University of North Carolina Press, 1989), which Wilson co-edited. Seetha Srinivasan,
director of the Mississippi Press, asked the center to lead the project based
on its successful experience with The Encyclopedia, Wilson said.
Those of us at the Center for the Study
of Southern Culture are excited at the opportunity to work in developing the
Mississippi Encyclopedia, Wilson said. This encyclopedia will not
only provide authoritative information on our states history and culture,
but help enrich our appreciation for the diversity of our experience.
In addition to text, images and excerpts from
primary sources, Mississippi Encyclopedia will feature entries from more
than 400 authors. An online component of the resource will offer interactive
digital media formats, including text, still images, audio and video.
Twenty-eight consulting editors will suggest
topics and contributors to the volume. The major areas to be featured include
geography, archaeology, fiction, poetry, drama, nonfiction, music, visual arts,
architecture, folklife, food, sports, women, religion, law, politics and political
history, Native Americans, social and economic history, the Civil War, the Civil
Rights Movement, environment, education, ethnic diversity, business and industry,
agriculture, the press, and Mississippis myths and representations.
The NEH was created in 1965 as an independent
federal agency to support learning in history, literature, philosophy and other
areas of the classroom. The largest funder of humanities programs in the United
States, NEH grants enrich classroom learning, create and preserve knowledge
and bring ideas to life through public television, radio, new technologies,
museum exhibitions and programs in libraries and other community places.
NEHs past chair, William
R. Ferris, is the former director of the UM Center for the Study of Southern
Culture and UM professor of anthropology.
William Faulkner American
Writers program on C-SPAN rescheduled for May 5
February 6, 2002
C-SPAN has announced the resumption of its American
Writers: A Journey Through History series, postponed in the wake of the
events of September 11, 2001. The series explores the lives and works of selected
American writers who have chronicled, reflected upon or influenced the course
of our nations history, from Plymouth Rock to Vietnam.
The segment on William
Faulkner is scheduled for live telecast on Sunday, May 5, 2002, beginning
at 3 p.m. ET on C-SPAN. The program will be broadcast live from Rowan Oak, the
antebellum home in Oxford, Mississippi, that Faulkner bought in 1930 and refurbished.
Except for temporary stays as a screenwriter in Hollywood and as writer in residence
at the University of Virginia, Faulkner lived at Rowan Oak until his death in
The Faulkner program will be re-aired on C-SPAN
on Friday, May 10, at 8 p.m. ET.
Originally begun in March 2001, American
Writers: A Journey Through History takes viewers throughout the United States
for live telecasts featuring the novels, speeches, diaries, essays, and life
stories of writers like Benjamin Franklin, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain,
and of course, William Faulkner. In all, the series chronicles more than 45
American writers over the course of eight periods in American history.
In September, C-SPAN announced the postponement
of future installments in the series so that the public affairs network could
devote all its resources and editorial attention to coverage of the aftermath
of September 11.
The series resumes March 31, 2002, with a program
on poet Langston Hughes.
Each installment is devoted to one of the featured
authors and originates live from a historic site associated with the writers
life and works.
The series invites experts to discuss the programs
featured writer and his or her body of work. Historians and archivists discuss
the writers background, literary significance, and the time period the
writer lived in or wrote about. The series also takes a look at the homes and
historic sites important to the writer and his or her work.
As an additional resource, C-SPAN offers an
online complement to the series, www.americanwriters.org.
The site provides detailed information on each featured writer and information
on C-SPAN's live program dedicated to the author. Schedules of upcoming American
Writers programming and a RealAudio/Video® archive of previously aired programming
are also included on the site.
campaign rallies fans around indies
February 7, 2002
By Bob Summer
Editors note: This article originally
appeared in the PW Daily email newsletter from Publishers Weekly (publishersweekly.reviewsnews.com)
Although this weeks PW Forecasts, which
called John Grishams new
legal thriller, The Summons, (Doubleday) not one of his most satisfying
books, 75 fans lined up in five inches of snow outside Burkes Book
Store in Memphis, Tenn., to secure one of the 200 tickets for his signing next
Wednesday. It will be the 12th time the former Mississippi lawyer and state
legislator has held an event at the 127-year-old independent. Co-owner Cheryl
Mesler told PW Daily that by the end of the day on Wednesday, almost all 200
tickets for which a purchase of at least one copy of The Summons
is required had been snapped up, with the rest expected to go before
Theres been similar excitement over Grishams
return at Mississippi bookstores, where Lemuria in Jackson, Square Books in
Oxford and Reeds Gumtree in Tupelo, all of which, in tandem with Burkes
and That Bookstore in Blytheville, Ark., began hosting Grisham for signings
long before he became an international bestselling phenomenon.
Lyn Roberts, manager of Square Books, notes
that Grishams first signing was for A Time to Kill in 1989, when
it was first published by tiny Wynwood Press. At the time, Grisham lived year-round
That Bookstore in Blytheville owner Mary Gay
Shipley vividly recalls that Grisham was there for a signing of 1991s
The Firm (Doubleday), when he learned his thriller had hit national bestseller
Alluding to the five Deep South independents
that have supported Grisham from the beginning and to which he has remained
loyal, Shipley adds, all of us have sort of grown up with him and have
developed similar procedures for handling the signings.
The mutually appreciated (and rewarding!) mini-tour
that will open this time at Shipleys store on February 11 and end at John
Evans Lemuria on February 19 is by turn something we do for him
and he does for us. We work all arrangements out with him, not Doubleday.
While two tour participants wouldnt peg
the size of their orders for the signings, Burkes indicated it is ordering
2,500 copies while Lemuria and Reeds Gumtrees are stocking 3,000.
At each store Grisham will extend his reach beyond the formal signing event
and will sign copies for phone, e-mail and Web site orders or stock as well
as committing to a couple of press conferences.
Will Grishams return to a Mississippi
setting in The Summons swell attendance at the signings? Perhaps
somewhat, says Evans, but Grisham readers in Jackson are interested
in everything he writes, whatever its settling and nature. Our phones begin
ringing off the hook as soon as we announce another Grisham signing.
Grisham signings are major events for
us, echoes Shipley. In fact, Johns books sell so well here
that theyre the main reason were still in business after 25 years.
People come down from Little Rock and as far away as Nashville for his signings.
One regular fills a bus with 30 people, and often high school teachers bring
sizable student groups. Being known as a store John comes to on each new book
has brought us customers from throughout the nation, in addition to helping
us attract other authors for signings.
Reeds Gumtree manager Camille Sloan posits
another reason for Grishams continuing regional popularity, however, even
if he does live part of the year now in Charlottesville, Va.: Hes
unfailingly gracious, and his signings are like reunions of old friends.
In other words, as they say in the South, he
hasnt forgotten where he came from.
Do you have a news item about a Mississippi writer? Please send your
information to email@example.com.
NEW FEATURES in the MISSISSIPPI
The following articles were recently added to the Writer Listings:
Hunting Season By Nevada Barr
Putnam (Hardcover, $24.95, ISBN: 0399148469)
Publication Date: February 18, 2002
Review by John Rowen, Booklist
In the tenth adventure in Barr’s National Park series (each installment
is set at a different park), District Ranger Anna Pigeon investigates
a murder at an old inn on Mississippis Natchez Trace Parkway.
After the discovery of the corpse — naked and marked in such a way as
to suggest an S & M ritual — interrupts Anna’s brunch with her new romantic
interest, local sheriff Paul Davidson, the intrepid ranger finds herself
forced to untangle a poaching plot with roots deep in Mississippi history.
This latest entry in Barr’s popular series marks a definite return to
form after the disappointing Blood Lure. The edgy, fast-paced tale generates
plenty of tension, making the most of several nighttime crimes, and
Barr does a good job of developing the character of Anna, adding romance
to the mix and giving the ranger plenty of opportunity to display her
slightly dark, off-center wit. Descriptions of grand National Park vistas,
so prominent in the earlier books, are missing this time, but Barr still
makes the most of her setting, evoking the special charms of autumn
in the South. Series fans will be pleased to see the return of Randy
Thigpen, Anna's nemesis from earlier novels. Barr, the undisputed queen
of the eco-mystery, has turned a novel premise into a thriving subgenre.
AUTHOR EVENTS: Book Signings, Readings,
Feb. 7-9: Magnolia Independent Film Festival Starkville Cinema, Starkville, Mississippi. For more information
on ticket prices and feature schedule, visit the film festival web site
at www.magfilmfest.com or
call (662) 494-5836.
Feb. 9: Lemuria, 202 Banner Hall, Jackson, Mississippi, 1:00 p.m. Jim Fraiser and West
Freeman will sign copies of The Majesty of the Mississippi Delta.
For more info, call (601) 366-7619.
Feb. 9: Gin Mill Mall, 109 Pershing Ave., Indianola, Mississippi,
2:00 p.m. Stephen Kirkpatrick will sign copies of his book of photographs,
Wilder Mississippi. For more info, call (662) 887-3209.
Feb. 11: That Bookstore, Blytheville, AR John Grisham will
sign copies of his novel The Summons. Visit That Bookstores
web site for details on this event, www.tbib.com.
Feb. 12: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi, 9:00 a.m. John Grisham will
return to Oxford to sign copies of his novel The Summons. Please
read the rules below carefully and be sure to contact us if you have
any questions. At 9 a.m. on the morning of the 12th, well pass
out numbered tickets to the first 200 people in line. If you receive
a ticket you will be able to return that afternoon and have John Grisham
sign two copies of The Summons for you. Your ticket will tell
you what time to return. He will only sign copies of The Summons
purchased from Square Books. No other items or previous books will be
allowed to be signed.
Feb. 13: Burkes Book Store, Memphis, TN John Grisham will
sign copies of his novel The Summons. Visit the Burkes
Book Store web site for details on this event, www.burkesbooks.com.
Feb. 13: Lemuria, 202 Banner Hall, Jackson, Mississippi, 5 p.m. Elmore Leonard will sign and read from Tishomingo Blues.
Signing at 5 p.m., reading at 7 p.m. www.lemuriabooks.com
Feb. 14: Lemuria, 202 Banner Hall, Jackson, Mississippi, 5 p.m. Gary Penley will sign Della Raye.www.lemuriabooks.com
Feb. 15: Lemuria, 202 Banner Hall, Jackson, Mississippi, 5:30 p.m. James McBride will sign Miracle at St. Anne.www.lemuriabooks.com
Feb. 19: Lemuria, 202 Banner Hall, Jackson, Mississippi John Grisham will
sign copies of his novel The Summons. Visit the Lemuria web site
for details on this event, www.lemuriabooks.com
If you know of upcoming readings and appearances by Mississippi
writers, please let us know by writing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON THE HORIZON
The following events are planned for the coming weeks and months. You
may wish to begin planning now to attend or participate.
March 1, 2002 David Galef, University
of Mississippi professor of English and creative writing, will sign
and read from his new story collection, Laugh Track, at Square
Books in Oxford.
March 8, 2002 Jim Fraiser will sign
and talk about Majesty of the Mississippi Delta at Square Books
in Oxford. From historic Port Gibson up the river to Memphis, Fraiser
details the architectural features of homes, churches, and stores dating
back as far as the early 19th century.
March 21, 2002 Clinton, Mississippi, resident Nevada
Barr will return to Square Books in Oxford this time on Thacker
Mountain Radio, with her newest novel, Hunting Season. Its
the tenth book in the Anna Pigeon series. Anna investigates the murder
of a man at a Natchez Trace tourist spot. The show starts at 5:30 p.m.
March 27, 2002 Edward Cohen returns
to Square Books in Oxford to read from his book The Peddlers
Grandson: Growing Up in Jewish in Mississippi. 5 p.m.
April 5, 2002 Richard Ford returns
to Square Books in Oxford with a new collection of short stories, A
Multitude of Sins. 5 p.m.
The Ninth Oxford Conference for the Book April 11-14, 2002
The University of Mississippi and Oxford, Mississippi
Check back for registration information.
Interhostel: Views from the South: Literature, History, and
April 21-26, 2002
E. F. Yerby Conference Center, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi
Short-term academic program for individuals 50 and older (with accompanying
spouses or adult companions of any age). Sponsored by the Institute
for Continuing Studies. Fee: $845 (includes five nights hotel accommodations,
meals, classes and extracurricular activities). Sponsored by: UM Institute
for Continuing Studies. For more information, please contact: Lynne
Geller at 662-915-7282; or email: email@example.com
April 27, 2002 Childrens book writer Laurie
Parker will give a reading at Square Books in Oxford from her new
book, The Turtle Saver. Its the story of a man who stops
on the Natchez Trace to move a turtle off the pavement and ends up setting
off a hilarious chain of events.
The 29th Annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference:
Faulkner and His Contemporaries
July 21-26, 2002
The University of Mississippi, Oxford
Information on registration is forthcoming.
If you know of additional news items for this newsletter or if you
have suggestions, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about events in the Oxford and University, Mississippi
Community, see the Ole Miss Community Calendar: www.olemiss.edu/calendar/