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Welcome to the Mississippi Writers Page Newsletter for October 18-24, 2002

In this issue:


The following events all happened during this week in Mississippi history.

1801: In the Treaty of Chickasaw Bluffs, the Chickasaw granted the United States the right of way to build a road through their lands along the Natchez Trace. (Oct. 24)

1820: In the Treaty of Doak's Stand, the Choctaw ceded 5.5 million acres of their land to the United States. (Oct. 18)

1832: On behalf of the Chickasaws, King Ishtehotopah signed the Treaty of Pontotoc in which the Chickasaw ceded all their lands east of the Mississippi River and agreed to relocate to Oklahoma, thus opening northern Mississippi to white settlers. (Oct. 20)

1848: Southwestern humorist Alexander G. McNutt died in DeSoto County, Mississippi, while on a political campaign. (Oct. 22)

1910: Writer Emily Van Sickle was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. (Oct. 23)

1919: English professor and biographer Thomas Daniel Young was born in Louisville, Mississippi. (Oct. 22)

1929: Writer Jere Hoar was born in Dyersburg, Tennessee. (Oct. 23)

1931: Novelist, playwright, and film-maker Edwin Corley was born in Bayonne, New Jersey. (Oct. 22)

1935: Poet Ahmos Zu-Bolton, II was born in Poplarville, Mississippi. (Oct. 21)

1938: Story magazine rejected Eudora Welty’s short story “Why I Live at the P.O.” More rejections followed from New Yorker, Collier’s, Harper’s Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, Mademoiselle, and Harper’s Magazine. (Oct. 20)

1942: Eudora Welty’s The Robber Bridegroom was published by Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York. (Oct. 23)

1942: English professor Alvin Sullivan was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi. (Oct. 24)

1944: Poet, photographer, and editor Alice Rose George was born in Lawrence County, Mississippi. (Oct. 23)

1955: Oral historian John Griffin Jones was born in Jackson, Mississippi. (Oct. 18)

1961: Novelist Lee Durkee was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Oct. 19)

1986: English professor Clyde Samuel Kilby died in Columbus, Mississippi. (Oct. 18)


Call for Papers: Proposed edited collection on Barry Hannah

Oct. 21, 2002

Editor’s note: This call for papers was originally posted on the Society for the Study of Southern Literature’s email discussion group, or “listserv.”

From Dr. Martyn Bone:

I am currently soliciting proposals for essay-length contributions to an edited collection on Barry Hannah’s fiction. This collection would build on (and encompass) the essays included in Ruth D. Weston’s Hannah special issue of Mississippi Quarterly (Fall 2001). A major Southern university press has expressed interest in publishing the project, and
already a number of scholars have agreed to submit new essays for consideration.

At this stage I am interested in all proposals, of any critical approach and involving any Hannah work, short or long. However, please note that the aforementioned university press has expressed a preference for essays that range relatively widely; i.e., that do not consider only one of Hannah’s stories/novels. Given that this would be the first essay collection on Hannah’s work, and given the variety of that work, I am reluctant to impose a single overarching theme on either the collection or, indeed, Hannah’s ouevre. However, publishing realities, for one, dictate that the collection will likely be organised around one, two or three overarching themes. As such, I am particularly interested in essays that encompass one or more of the following themes:

  • Hannah and postmodernism (as a literary style or aesthetic, esp. Hannah in comparative context with other postmodern writers)
  • Hannah and postmodernity (the representation, mediation and/or criticism of the cultures, economies, societies, etc., of postmodernity)
  • Hannah as Southern, postsouthern or anti-Southern writer (esp. in comparative context with other Southern, American or international writers)
  • Masculinity (the Southern male (anti-) hero, gender relations, anxieties over masculinity in the contemporary South/postmodern world)
  • Race and/or class (including Hannah in relation, or contrast, to “grit” or poor white Southern writers such as Harry Crews, Dorothy Allison, or Larry Brown)

Please submit proposals (between 300-500 words) to one of the email or postal addresses below as soon as possible, and no later than 15 December 2002. I plan to submit formal proposals to at least two university presses in late December 2002 or early January 2003.

Dr. Martyn Bone
School of American and Canadian Studies
University of Nottingham

Do you have a news item about a Mississippi writer? Please send your information to

NEW BOOKS by Mississippi Writers

The Return of GabrielThe Return of Gabriel

By John Armistead

Milkweed Editions (Paperback, $6.95, ISBN: 1571316388)

Publication date: October 2002


In the summer of 1964, freedom workers come to a small Mississippi town to register blacks to vote. The quiet pace of the summer changes dramatically for Cooper and his friends Jubal, who is black, and Squirrel, who is Jewish. The only white member of Oak Grove Baptist Church, Cooper must decide how to react when his father makes him attend Ku Klux Klan meetings. His uncle Chicago helps guide him through the turbulent times. As the summer progresses, the pastor at the church learns of the Klan’s plans in advance. He says the news comes from the Angel Gabriel. When Cooper discovers Gabriel’s identity, he must decide what role he will play, and on which side.

No Second Eden: PoemsNo Second Eden: Poems

By Turner Cassity

Swallow Press (Hardcover, $24.95, ISBN: 0804010501)

Publication date: October 2002

Description from Booklist:

Poetry isn’t much thought of as a participatory art form, but it is, as critical discussion of voice and tone, which the reader must conjure up, implicates. Form may also ask for participation. Tight metrical and rhyme schemes can require poets to pare language to the bone, and readers to determine the precise meanings of words and syntactical tactics. In poem after poem, Cassity disciplines himself to form, and those who would read him with real comprehension may find immediate rereading necessary—and ever so rewarding. For Cassity regards everything with a cool, dissecting eye, and he exercises verbal and rational cleverness. He brooks no pretension and no romanticizing, even in himself. He well knows what would have happened to Rimbaud had he settled down (see “Boxcar Arthur, the Sequel”). He cuts the crap out of a shopworn parable (see “In the Receiving Line”), out of revolutionary cant (see “Karl and Julius and Gregory; or, Are You a Fructidor?”), and, breathtakingly, out of pseudopatriotic piety (see “WTC”). He is a national treasure. —Ray Olson. Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved.

Red Dragon: The Shooting Scripts

By Ted Tally, Thomas Harris

Newmarket Press (Paperback, $18.95, ISBN: 1557045585)

Publication date: October 2002

Description from Booklist:

Based on Thomas Harris’ 1981 best-selling novel, a prequel to The Silence of the Lambs (1988) and Hannibal (1999), in which serial killer Hannibal Lector is first introduced.

Oscar®-nominee Edward Norton stars as ex-FBI agent Will Graham, an expert investigator who quit the Bureau after almost losing his life in the process of capturing the elusive Dr. Lector, played again by Academy Award®-winner Anthony Hopkins. Years later, after a series of particularly grisly murders, Graham reluctantly agrees to come out of retirement and assist in the case. But he soon realizes that the best way to catch this killer, known as the Tooth Fairy, is to find a way to get inside the killer’s mind. And the closest thing to that would be to probe the mind of another killer who is equally brilliant and equally twisted. For Graham, that means confronting his past and facing his former nemesis, the now-incarcerated Lector. Oscar®-nominee Ralph Fiennes plays Francis Dolarhyde.

The Newmarket Shooting Script includes the complete screenplay by Ted Tally, an introduction by Tally, 20 b/w film stills, and the film’s complete credits.

La Salle: A Perilous Odyssey from Canada to the Gulf of MexicoLa Salle: A Perilous Odyssey from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico

By Donald Johnson

Cooper Square Press (Hardcover, $26.95, ISBN: 0815412401)

Publication date: October 2002

Description from the publisher:

Rene-Robert Cavalier, Sieur de la Salle (1643-1687) was the first man to navigate—with extreme difficulty—the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes region to the Gulf of Mexico, thereby establishing France’s claim on a swath of the North American continent equal to half the size of Europe, which La Salle named Louisiana. Johnson’s new biography of the dauntless explorer provides a detailed panorama of the European nations’ efforts to control North America, and the results these endeavors had on the future of the continent. Johnson also makes use of new information regarding La Salle’s final expedition, in which he was killed by his own men after a failed attempt to reach the mouth of the Mississippi from the Caribbean. How this veteran explorer ended up hundreds of miles off course, for centuries a mystery among historians, is explained here in convincing detail.

Donald Johnson, author of Charting the Sea of Darkness: The Four Voyages of Henry Hudson and Phantom Islands of the Atlantic, lives in Perry, Maine, near Bangor.

AUTHOR EVENTS: Book Signings, Readings, and Appearances

Aug. 1-Nov. 4: J. D. Williams Library, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi

“Civil Rights, Mississippi, and the Novelist’s Craft.” This exhibit highlights fictional accounts set in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement, including works by Ellen Douglas, Patrick D. Smith, Elizabeth Spencer, Eudora Welty, Lewis Nordan, William Mahoney, Joan Williams, and many others. Supplementing the display of books will be correspondence, manuscripts, and related ephemera drawn from the archive’s literary collections. Located in the Hall of Mississippi Writers in the Special Collections Department, J. D. Williams Library. Open 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays. For more information, please contact: Leigh McWhite, (662) 915-7937,

Nov. 11: Bondurant Hall Auditorium, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, 7:00 p.m.

Poetry Reading by J. D. McClatchy. He is the author of four books of poetry, including The Rest of the Way (1992) and Ten Commandments (1998), two collections of essays, and has edited numerous books, including The Vintage Book of World Poetry (1996) and The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry (1990). Since 1991 he has been editor of The Yale Review, and in 1996 he was named a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. Sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series and the Department of English. For more information, contact the English Department at (662) 915-7687,

Nov. 12: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi, 5:00 p.m.

Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides, Beach Music and The Great Santini, will be at Square Books to read and sign copies of his new book, My Losing Season. For more information, visit the Square Books web site,

Nov. 14: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi, 5:30 p.m.

Donna Tartt, author of The Secret History, will sign and read from her long-awaited second novel, The Little Friend, at Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi. For more information, visit the Square Books web site,

Nov. 14: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi, 4:00 p.m.

Mary Carol Miller will sign copies of Lost Landmarks of Mississippi. For more information, visit the Square Books web site,

If you know of upcoming literary events by or about Mississippi writers, please let us know by writing us at 


The following events are planned for the coming weeks and months. You may wish to begin planning now to attend or participate.

January 16, 2003

Poetry Reading by Tom Chandler, Bondurant Hall Auditorium, The University of Mississippi campus, in Oxford.

February 6, 2003

U.S. Poet Laureate (2001-2002) Billy Collins reads from his poetry and offers commentary on his work and other matters. Bondurant Hall Auditorium, The University of Mississippi campus in Oxford.

February 17, 2003

A reading by Clifton L. Taulbert on the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford.

March 25, 2003

Poetry Reading by Andrew Hudgins, Bondurant Hall Auditorium, The University of Mississippi campus, in Oxford.

March 26-30, 2003

Seventeenth Annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, New Orleans, Louisiana. For information, visit their web site at

April 10-13, 2003

Oxford Conference for the Book, Oxford, Mississippi.

July 20-25, 2003

30th Annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference, The University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi

If you know of additional news items for this newsletter or if you have suggestions, please write us at

For more information about events in the Oxford and University of Mississippi community, see the Ole Miss Community Calendar:

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