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Home:  >News & Events   >Newsletter   >2002

Welcome to the Mississippi Writers Page Newsletter for November 22-29, 2002

In this issue:


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

1729: Indians of the Natchez tribe attacked French settlers at Fort Rosalie, burning the fort and killing 138 men, 35 women, and 56 children.The Natchez revolt would spread throughout the area, with a massacre at Fort St. Pierre, overlooking the Yazoo River near present-day Redwood. The French eventually sent 1,400 men from New Orleans to drive them out of the Grand Village near Fort Rosalie; over the next two years they would lay siege to the Natchez, virtually destroying them as a nation. (Nov. 28)

1905: Poet and educator Eddie Gathings McNail was born in Prairie, Mississippi. (Nov. 28)

1906: Law professor Myres Smith McDougal was born in Burton, Mississippi. (Nov. 23)

1913: Poet, historian, and Episcopal priest Ray Holder was born in Lucedale, Mississippi. (Nov. 27)

1919: William Faulkner published “Landing in Luck” in the Mississippian, the student newspaper at the University of Mississippi. (Nov. 26)

1921: Journalist and editor P. D. East was born in Columbia, Mississippi. (Nov. 26)

1922: Thirteen-year-old Eudora Welty’s story “Soph’more Class” was published in Jackson Hi-Lite. (Nov. 26)

1934: Willie Morris was born in Jackson, Mississippi; within half a year, the family moved to Yazoo City, Mississippi. (Nov. 29)

1936: English professor Walter Everett was born in Mississippi. (Nov. 28)

1940: William Faulkner published “Tomorrow” in the Saturday Evening Post. (Nov. 23)

1942: Historian Warner O. Moore was born in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Nov. 23)

1942: Fiction writer and poet Sybil P. Estess was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. (Nov. 28)

1942: English professor Roger Johnson was born in Columbus, Mississippi. (Nov. 28)

1946: Historian Michael B. Ballard was born in Louisville, Mississippi. (Nov. 24)

1948: William Faulkner was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. (Nov. 23)

1949: William Faulkner published Knight’s Gambit. (Nov. 27)

1951: Novelist Charlaine Harris was born in Tunica, Mississippi. (Nov. 25)

1957: William Faulkner’s Requiem for a Nun opened in London’s Royal Court Theatre. (Nov. 26)

1960: Richard Wright died of a heart attack in Paris. (Nov. 28)

1976: Tennessee Williams’s The Eccentricities of a Nightingale opened on Broadway at the Morosco Theatre starring Betsy Palmer and David Selby. (Nov. 23)

1987: Psychologist and historian Zed H. Burns died in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. (Nov. 27)

1998: Minister Will Sessions died in Fort Smith, Arkansas. (Nov. 24)


NEW BOOKS by Mississippi Writers

I, Rhoda Manning, Go Hunting with My DaddyI, Rhoda Manning, Go Hunting with My Daddy: And Other Stories

By Ellen Gilchrist

Little Brown & Company (Hardcover, $25.95, ISBN: 0316173584)

Publication date: September 2002

Description from Booklist:

Gilchrist’s most captivating recurring character, the classy and indomitable Rhoda Manning, starred in many of the best offerings in Gilchrist’s altogether splendid Collected Stories (2000). Now more fascinating than ever at age 65, Rhoda rules this potent new collection, too, as she reflects on her contentious past, especially her complicated relationships with her tough and commanding father and her three headstrong sons. Her macho and assiduous father amassed a fortune selling tractors, abruptly left the “decadent” South for the clean and godly mountains of Wyoming, then schemed to lure his clan to his new world. Rhoda finally recognizes how much she resembles her impossible but righteous father, how much she misses him, and how much they both suffered over their failure to keep her wily sons away from drugs and other risky escapades. With Rhoda as her foil, Gilchrist writes with startling clarity about the narcotized 1970s, the wildness of teenagers, and the helplessness of parents.

Another of her intriguing regulars, Nora Jane, headlines in a superbly suspenseful tale that is set in earthquake-rocked San Francisco and features a band of Islamic terrorists. A virtuoso in the art of understatement with a profound sense of place and a flair for sly dialogue, Gilchrist choreographs unnerving scenarios with a devilish offhandedness.

Acutely observant, wry, and wise, Gilchrist loves to write about characters who have it all—beauty, wealth, and strong family ties—and therefore stand to lose so very much. “Nothing human is easy,” says a woman in one spring-loaded tale, and that says it all. —Donna Seaman. Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved.

AUTHOR EVENTS: Book Signings, Readings, and Appearances

Jan. 9: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi

Acclaimed novelist and short story writer Bobbie Ann Mason will read from her new biography of Elvis Presley. For more information, visit the Square Books web site,

Jan. 16: Bondurant Auditorium, University of Mississippi campus, Oxford, Mississippi, 7 p.m.

Tom Chandler, poet laureate of Rhode Island and author of Wingbones and Sad Jazz, reads from his poetry. Sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series and the English Department. For more information, contact the department at (662) 915-7439, or online at

Feb. 6: Bondurant Auditorium, University of Mississippi campus, Oxford, Mississippi, 7 p.m.

U.S. Poet Laureate (2001-2002) Billy Collins reads from his poetry and offers commentary on his work and other matters. Sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series and the English Department. For more information, contact the department at (662) 915-7439, or online at

Feb. 17: Old Chemistry Auditorium, University of Mississippi campus, Oxford, Mississippi, 7 p.m.

Clifton L. Taulbert, author of the acclaimed classic Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored, will speak. This event is in conjunction with Open Doors, the University of Mississippi’s yearlong observance of the 40th anniversary of the integration of higher education. Sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series and the English Department. For more information, contact the department at (662) 915-7439, or online at

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.

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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