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  News - August, 2003  

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Book News

Rock Legendary Producer Sam Phillips Dies

Sam Phillips (1923-2003), credited with discovering Elvis Presley and sparking the careers of Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, B. B. King and many others through his Sun Records label, died July 30, 2003 in Memphis, TN. He was 80. The Associated Press listed the cause of death as respiratory failure. Phillips sold Sun Records in 1962 and went into the radio business. He was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.


Ellen Burstyn to play Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tell All on Broadway

Tony and Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn is coming to Broadway in the one-woman stage adaptation of Allan Gurganus' best-selling novel Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All.  The play premiered at San Diego's Globe Theatre in January and will open at Longacre Theatre on November 4th (previews begin October 17).

Burstyn prepared for the role by living with Gurganus in his historic cottage in Hillsborough, NC for four days in fall of 2002.

Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tell All was adapted for stage by Martin Tahse.  This is Tahse's first play.  He is known as a theatre producer and screenwriter.

In the play, 99 year-old Lucy is telling her story to an audience for a charity fund-raiser. The proceeds are to fix the roof of the Lane's End Charitable Home, where Lucy is spending her final days.


photo credit: Craig Schwartz

Southern Book Awards Announced

A biography of acclaimed writer Zora Neale Hurston and two novels are this year's winners of the Southern Book Awards presented by the Southern Book Critics Circle.

Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston (Scribner) by Atlanta writer Valerie Boyd picked up the nonfiction award. It is the first full-length biography of Hurston, the influential novelist, folklorist and anthropologist from Eatonville, Fla., whose works and reputation have enjoyed a renaissance in recent years.

Lee Smith and Brad Watson are co-winners of the fiction award. Smith's The Last Girls (Algonquin) centers on several middle-aged women who take a reunion trip down the Mississippi. Watson's Heaven of Mercury (Norton) tells the story of a small Southern town through its inhabitants' lives.

The awards will be presented October 11, 2003 at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee.

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: My Losing Season by Pat Conroy and Sons of Mississippi by Paul Hendrickson for nonfiction; I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down by William Gay and The Half-Mammals of Dixie by George Singleton for fiction.

Library of Virginia to Present Lifetime Achievement Award to Louis D. Rubin, Jr.

Louis D. Rubin, Jr. is the recipient of the Library of Virginia Lifetime Achievement Award.  Rubin has taught and influenced a generation of Virginia writers.  Born in South Carolina, he is an acclaimed literary critic, novelist and historian and is considered one of the most influential figures in contemporary Southern literature.  The founder and president of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, he taught at Hollins College(1957-1967) and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1967-1989).  A 1946 graduate of the University of Richmond, Rubin received the Distinguished Virginian Award in 1972 and in 1974 was awarded a Litt. D. from the University of Richmond.  The author or editor of more than 50 titles, Rubin's latest book My Father's People: A Family of Southern Jews is a loving tribute and candid portrait of his paternal grandparents.

The Library of Virginia and the Library of Virginia Foundation are pleased to announce the finalists for the 6th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards:

Hello to the Cannibals: A Novel (HarperCollins).  Richard Bausch
The Gypsy Man (Harcourt, Inc.). Robert Bausch
The House on Belle Isle and Other Stories (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill). Carrie Brown
Richmond Burning: The Last Days of the Confederate Capital (Viking). Nelson Lankford
A Blessing Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776 (University of North Carolina Press). John K. Nelson
Managing White Supremacy: Race, Politics, and Citizenship in Jim Crow Virginia (University of North Carolina Press). J. Douglas Smith
The Caged Owl: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press). Gregory Orr
Shadow of Heaven: Poems (W. W. Norton and Company). Ellen Bryant Voigt
A Short History of the Shadow: Poems (Farrar Straus Giroux). Charles Wright

The winners will be announced on Saturday, September 20, 2003 at the 6th Annual Library of Virginia Awards Celebration Honoring Virginia Authors & Friends.  For ticket information, please call 804/371-4795.


Call for Papers
Southern Literary Journal (Deadline: August 1, 2003)
Louisiana English Journal, Fall 2003 Issue (Deadline: September 15, 2003)
Faulkner in the World (Deadline: September 30, 2003)
Journal of Kentucky Studies (Deadline: none)
The 2004 Mississippi Review Prize (Deadline: October 1, 2003)
James Dickey Poetry Prize (Deadline: November 30, 2003)
News from Past Issues
2003: 07 06 05 04 03 02 01
2002: 11 10 09  08 07 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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