Literary Friday, Edition 117
Talkin’ Funny With Ken Wheaton
A Cajun living in New York, Ken Wheaton was born in Opelousas, Louisiana, and is the author of three novels set in his home state. His latest, Sweet as Cane, Salty as Tears, is about New Yorker Katherine who has spent decades trying to ignore her Louisiana roots. When her sister is involved in a freak accident at the zoo, she is forced to return home and confront her Cajun past. Wheaton also writes the blog The Word O’Wheaton, where his “Talkin’ Funny: Louisiana Style” series about accents and phrases has become quite popular. “For a long time I’d changed my vocabulary so much, people would be surprised to learn I was from Louisiana,” he says. “When I’d get together with Louisiana friends up here, though, we’d have a few drinks and do that thing where you really exaggerate the accent.”
Learn more about Ken’s experience of being Cajun in New York, his books and how he finds comfort through food in our interview this week.
Summer reading — and the opportunity to wear white pants — might be over with Labor Day approaching, but don’t fret. We’re hard at work on our Fall/Winter Reading List over here, which will debut in late September. Comment and tell us what you’re looking forward to reading in cooler days to come, and we’ll consider adding it to the list.
NPR book critic Maureen Corrigan’s So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came To Be And Why It Endures and Alexis Coe’s Alice & Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis made Flavorwire’s list of 25 Must-Read Books For the Fall.
The Huffington Post‘s list of 8 Beach Reads for Labor Day Weekend includes The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith.
An exhibit titled William Faulkner’s Books: A Bibliographic Exhibit is on display on the third floor of J.D. Williams Library on the Ole Miss campus in Oxford through December 12.
In the official home of Gone With the Wind, Stately Oaks Plantation will commemorate the Battle of Jonesboro September 6-7 with a living history demonstration on the grounds.
The 13th annual Tennessee Williams Tribute and Tour of Victorian Homes will be held September 8-14 in Columbus, Mississippi, with a production of “The Glass Menagerie,” the Moon Lake Party, a scholars presentation, the famous Stella Shouting Contest and lots more.
The Savannah Book Festival presents an evening with Jack Reacher author Lee Child at the Lucas Theatre September 11.
See George Singleton September 25 at Square Books in Oxford, where he’ll be signing copies of Between Wrecks.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is calling all poets to participate in 100 Thousand Poets for Change September 27.
Save the Date for the Eat Drink Read Write Festival in Birmingham October 3-10, featuring the area’s best food and beverage offerings served up with a literary twist and including our own Editor Erin Z. Bass.
The 26th annual Southern Festival of Books is scheduled for October 10-12 in Nashville, Tennessee. This year’s theme is “A Celebration of the Written Word,” and the extensive list of authors confirmed is out now.
The Texas Book Festival in Austin will take place October 25-26 with authors Martin Amis, Ziggy Marley and Hector Tobar.
New in Southern Voice
The Nature of Things, a story about a nasturtium that creeps into a marriage, by Wendy Russ.
To find out more about your favorite Southern authors’ haunts and hangouts, download the Deep South Literary Trail App, available direct from iTunes and for Android and perfect for those summer road trips.