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Welcome to the Mississippi Writers Page Newsletter for September 5-11, 2003

In this issue:


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

1907: Journalist and statesman Ralph Hilton was born in Mendenhall, Mississippi. (Sept. 10)

1908: Historian Nash K. Burger was born in Jackson, Mississippi. (Sept. 8)

1909: English professor Walton Richard Patrick was born in Collins, Mississippi. (Sept. 9)

1910: Christian minister W. Earl Waldrop was born in Mount Olive, Mississippi. (Sept. 8)

1916: Psychiatrist Harley Cecil Shands was born in Jackson, Mississippi. (Sept. 10)

1919: Medical physiologist Arthur C. Guyton was born in Oxford, Mississippi. (Sept. 8)

1925: William Faulkner published “Country Mice” in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. (Sept. 10)

1926: Baptist minister and theologian Joe H. Cothen was born in Poplarville, Mississippi. (Sept. 8)

1927: Presbyterian minister Andrew Albert Jumper was born in Marks, Mississippi. (Sept. 11)

1928: Missionary Peggy Billings was born in McComb, Mississippi. (Sept. 10)

1930: William Faulkner published “Thrift” in the Saturday Evening Post. (Sept. 6)

1940: Business historian Thomas K. McCraw was born in Corinth, Mississippi. (Sept. 11)

1946: Kay Pritchett, professor of Spanish language and literature, was born in Greenville, Mississippi. (Sept. 10)

1956: Novelist and historian Shelby Foote married Gwyn Rainer. (Sept. 6)

1956: William Faulkner went to Washington for four days as the chairman of the Writers’Group, People-to-People Program. (Sept. 11)

1995: Jamie L. Whitten, U.S. Congressman and author of That We May Live, died of complications of chronic cardiac and kidney disease with acute respiratory distress in Oxford, Mississippi. (Sept. 9)

2001: Band of Brothers, a ten-part television miniseries based on a book by Stephen E. Ambrose about a U.S. Army unit in World War II, premiered on HBO. (Sept. 9)

2001: The motion picture Big Bad Love, based on the short story collection by Larry Brown, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in Canada. (Sept. 10)

NEW BOOKS by Mississippi Writers

Stories from the Blue Moon CafeStories from the Blue Moon Cafe II: Anthology of Southern Writers

Edited by Sonny Brewer

MacAdam/Cage Publishing (Hardcover, $25.00, ISBN: 1931561435)

Publication date: August 2003

Description from Publishers Weekly:

Eclectic, unpretentious and enjoyable, this collection of short stories, poetry and nonfiction is the second installment in the Blue Room Cafe series, edited by Brewer, owner of an Alabama bookstore and director of the annual literary event Southern Writers Reading. The majority of the book is high quality fiction, much of it by authors little known outside the Deep South. The opening story by Larry Brown, “A Roadside Resurrection,” is a gritty tale of a dying man and a healer who is cursed by his gift for healing. In William Gay’s “Homecoming,” a man drops in on wealthy relatives and finds the rich have more problems than he ever imagined. In Michelle Richmond’s “Choose Your Travel Partner Wisely,” a woman finds out more than she wants to know about her husband during a tropical holiday. Another husband and wife grow apart in “Orphans,” by Donald Hays, in which an Oklahoma dentist finds God and moves to Russia to found an orphanage, his skeptical wife trailing behind.

The strong nonfiction entries include “My Heroes Have Always Been Grill Cooks: Rumination on William Price Fox’s Southern Fried,” by John T. Edge, an insightful piece presented in a style recalling Fox’s famous staccato delivery. Among the poems, the most moving is David Fuller’s “Linda Wahlthal,” in which a man wonders whatever became of his first love. Brewer’s anthology must compete for shelf space with other, longer-established series, but the pleasing array of fresh voices and discerning selection of material makes this a welcome alternative. —Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

The Footprints of GodThe Footprints of God

By Greg Iles

Scribner (Hardcover, $25.95, ISBN: 0743234693)

Publication date: August 2003

Description from the publisher:

From the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author comes a cutting-edge new thriller rich with imagination and vision.

In the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle stands a corporate laboratory much like the others nearby. But behind its walls, America’s top scientists work around the clock to attain the holy grail of the twenty-first century—a supercomputer that surpasses the power of the human mind.

Appointed by the president as ethicist to Project Trinity, Dr. David Tennant finds himself in a pressure cooker of groundbreaking science and colossal ambition. When his friend and fellow scientist is murdered, David discovers that the genius who runs Project Trinity was responsible and that his own life is in danger. Unable to reach the president, and afraid to trust his colleagues, David turns to Rachel Weiss, the psychiatrist probing the nightmares that have plagued him during his work at Trinity. Rachel is skeptical of David's fears, but when an assassin strikes, the two doctors must flee for their lives.

Pursued across the globe by ruthless National Security Agency operatives, David and Rachel struggle to piece together the truth behind Project Trinity and the enormous power it could unleash upon the world. As constant danger deepens their intimacy, Rachel realizes the key to Trinity lies buried in David's disturbed mind. But Trinity’s clock is ticking…

Mankind is being held hostage by a machine that cannot be destroyed. Its only hope—a terrifying chess game between David and the Trinity computer, with the cities of the world as pawns. But what are the rules? How human is the machine? Can one man and woman change the course of history? Man’s future hangs in the balance, and the price of failure is extinction.

Considered one of the most insightful and ingenious of the new generation of bestselling authors, Greg Iles has written a thriller that maps the fascinating territory where science and spirit clash in a battle for the future of humanity. Stunning in its scope, The Footprints of God is a brilliant realization of its author’s talent.


AUTHOR EVENTS: Book Signings, Readings, and Appearances

September 16: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi

Larry Brown signs and reads from his unusual, new novel, The Rabbit Factory. For more information, visit

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.

October 16, 2003

Elmore Leonard, author of more than 30 novels (including Bandits, Get Shorty, and Tishomingo Blues), numerous film and television productions, essays and commentaries, will read and talk about his career. For more information on Leonard, visit Elmore Leonard’s new book, When the Women Come Out to Dance, is to be published in November 2003. Johnson Commons Ballroom, The University of Mississippi, 7 p.m. Sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series and the Department of English at the University of Mississippi.

February 12, 2004

Reading and lecture by Richard Ford. Johnson Commons Ballroom, The University of Mississippi, 7 p.m. Sponsored by the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series and the Department of English at the University of 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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