Literary Friday, Edition 159
Interview, Chat & Giveaway With Leah Stewart
What happens if your new neighbor is an elderly snoop and you’re on the run for possibly killing your husband? The Myth of You and Me author Leah Stewart examines this scenario in her summer read The New Neighbor, out this month from Touchstone Books. Ninety-year-old Margaret Riley lives on a secluded Tennessee mountaintop with only the scenery, her memories working as a nurse during World War II and a stack of mystery novels to keep her company. When a young woman moves into the house across the pond, Margaret takes it as a challenge. She’s Miss Marple, and this stranger is just another mystery to be solved.
In this week’s interview, we asked Stewart about the inspiration for this book, some of her favorite spots in the Sewanee area and the novel’s themes of isolation, loneliness and friendship. Chat with her (@leahcstewart) on Twitter today from 1-2 CST (2-3 EST, 11-noon PST) using the hashtag #southernlit. You can log into our chat room here to participate or just follow the hashtag on Twitter.
We also have one copy of The New Neighbor to give away to a lucky chat participant!
We celebrate what was perhaps the biggest literary news of the decade this week with the release of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, and there was no better place to be than her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Read our recap of release day in the small town, plus see photos and videos from the real-life Maycomb.
And if you’re a fellow writer trying to process how you’ll possibly write that second book, Kimberly Brock gives us food for thought in Thinking About Harper Lee — Processing what’s Under Your Writer’s Bed.
Enter to win a copy of Julia Heaberlin’s Black-Eyed Susans over at Goodreads before we chat with her August 14.
For those like us waiting on news about Joshilyn Jackson’s next book, we have Atlanta’s NPR station to thank for details on what’s tentatively titled Origin Story.
Save the Date for Hemingway Days in Key West, Florida, July 21-26.
Tales of the Cocktail might be happening in New Orleans, but those in the Knoxville, Tennessee, area can take Writing Booze: A Workshop and Cocktail Class at Sundress Academy for the Arts July 25.
Mystery writers will stage a celebration of sleuthing in Key West August 14-16 titled Murder & Mayhem in Paradise.
The inaugural Mississippi Book Festival will take place August 22 at the Capitol in Jackson with special guest John Grisham (pictured), author panels and signings, live music and more.
The Decatur Book Festival, scheduled for September 4-6, presents Erica Jong in conversation with Roxane Gay, plus Pat Conroy, Ron Rash, Lori Roy and Karen White.
Scheduled for October 17-18, the Texas Book Festival in Austin recently released its lineup of authors, including Margaret Atwood, Elizabeth Strout, Chuck Palahniuk and Attica Locke.
New in Southern Voice
Two Fishermen, a short story about an old man who loved to be out on the water, by Ed Nichols.
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.