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  News - August, 2002  

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Book News

Tribute to Author Tim McLaurin

North Carolina author Tim McLaurin lost his battle with cancer on July 12, 2002.  He wrote seven books including the novel Woodrow's Trumpet and the memoir Keeper of the Moon.  His novel Cured by Fire won the 1995 Sir Walter Raleigh Award.
Snake-handler McLaurin taught writing at North Carolina State University.  His memoir The River Less Run has a passage for writers worth repeating often:


"The interpretation of literature is subjective.  You might say that some Southern writers are lunatics who will pick up rattlesnakes.  But, you might also say that some Southern writers, have the guts to pick up serpents, and that is one reason Southern literature is held in esteem." (The River Less Run, page 126)


Tim McLaurin will be missed.


Southern Book Awards 2002

A study of racial lynching by a well-known historian and a collection of short stories by an acclaimed Kentucky writer are this year's winners of the Southern Book Awards presented by the Southern Book Critics Circle.

The nonfiction winner is At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America by Philip Dray (Random House, $35). In it, Dray examines the social background behind the lynching of African-Americans from after the Civil War to well into the 20th century. He also writes of the men and women, such as James Weldon Johnson, W.E.B. Du Bois and Ida B. Wells, who led the struggle to expose and eradicate lynching. Dray, who lives in New York City, is the co-author of  We Are Not Afraid: The Story of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney and the Civil Rights Campaign for Mississippi.

Bobbie Ann Mason picks up her second Southern Book Award for her collection of short stories about ordinary Southerners, Zigzagging Down a Wild Trail (Random House, $22.95 hardcover, Modern Library, $11.95 paperback). Mason also won in 1994 for her novel Feather Crowns.  Her other works include Shiloh and Other Stories and In Country.

The awards will be presented Oct. 12 at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tenn. The Southern Book Critics Circle, composed of book editors and reviewers at newspapers and magazines in the South, also named two finalists in each category: fiction, Yonder Stands Your Orphan by Barry Hannah and The Wolf Pit by Marly Youmans; nonfiction, Ava's Man by Rick Bragg and Peter Taylor: A Writer's Life by Hubert Horton McAlexander.

The Southern Book Awards have been presented annually since 1991. Past winners include Larry Brown, Josephine Humphreys, Ernest Gaines, John Berendt and Diane McWhorter.

Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards

The Library of Virginia, the Virginia Center for the Book and the Library of Virginia Foundation  sponsor the annual Library of Virginia literary awards. These awards honor outstanding Virginia authors in the areas of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Past winners include James I. (Bud) Robertson Jr., Donald McCaig, Eleanor Ross Taylor, Eric Pankey and Carrie Brown.

The awards are announced at the Library of Virginia Awards Celebration Honoring Virginia Authors & Friends held the third Saturday in September at the Library of Virginia. This gala event attracts authors, publishers and those who enjoy the written word and is a chance to rub elbows with promising new writers and literary legends.

This year's event will be held on September 21, 2002. Virginia First Lady Lisa Collis will host this elegant event honoring the very best writing by Virginians or about Virginia in the categories of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. For ticket information, call: 804-371-4795.

Finalists for the 2002 Library of Virginia Literary Awards


Jennifer Ackerman, Chance in the House of Fate: A Natural History of Heredity (Houghton Mifflin Company)

R. Kent Newmyer, John Marshall and the Heroic Age of the Supreme Court (Louisiana State University Press)

Mark Perry, Lift Up Thy Voice: The Grimke Family's Journey from Slaveholders to Civil Rights Leaders (Viking)


Geraldine Brooks, Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague (Viking)

Tom De Haven, Dugan Under Ground (Metropolitan Books)

Mary Lee Settle, I, Roger Williams (W. W. Norton & Company)


Margaret Gibson, Icon and Evidence (Louisiana State University Press)

R. T. Smith, Messenger: Poems (Louisiana State University Press)

Katherine Soniat, Alluvial (Bucknell University Press)


A Garden to Keep Wins Christy Award

South Carolina author Jamie Langston Turner's A Garden to Keep (Bethany House, 2001) received the Christy Award in the contemporary category.  The Christy Awards celebrate excellence in Christian fiction and are designed to highlight the diversity of choices available in Christian fiction, encourage creativity, and highlight talent that may not have reached the bestseller lists.  Named after Catherine Marshall's popular novel Christy, the Christy Awards were established in 1999.



Authors Gather for Blue Moon Cafe Signing

Stories From the Blue Moon Cafe is a new Southern fiction anthology that is the brainchild of independent bookstore owner, Sonny Brewer.  The book contains short works from some of our best Southern writers, including Rick Bragg, Jill Conner Browne, William Gay, Brad Watson, and many more.  Lemuria Books of Jackson, Mississippi has gathered 25 of these authors to participate in a 2-day celebration of Southern literature on August 16-17, 2002.  The event will include readings from the authors, a public book signing, and plenty of Blue Moon beer!  More details of the event can be found at Lemuria Books.


Call for Papers
Essay Collection on Flannery O'Connor and Feminism (Deadline: September 15, 2002)
Delta Blues Symposium IX (Deadline: January 6, 2003)
William Faulkner Journal (Deadline: January 31, 2003)

South Carolina Fiction Project (Deadline: January 15, 2003)

News from Past Issues
2002: 06 05 04 03 02 01
2001: 12 11 10 09 08  07 06 05 04 03 02 01 

2000: 12 11  10  09  08 

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