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Literary Friday

Helen Keller in Love Winner!

And the winner is … Anna Kline. Here’s what she had to say about discovering Helen Keller:

“I first heard about Helen Keller as a child when I watched ‘The Miracle Worker’ on TV, starring Patty Duke and Melissa Gilbert. I was fascinated by her life. Later, as an adult, I worked with someone who is from Tuscumbia, and he talked about the Helen Keller Festival. During that time, I’ve become fascinated about her life, and her insightful thought processes – especially for someone who seems effectively cut off from sights and sounds. Her story is absolutely amazing.”

If you missed our interview with Rosie Sultan last week, read it here.

Summer Reading List & Giveaway

Our Summer Reading list hit the site on Tuesday, featuring 16 beach reads, mysteries and new releases, plus five classics that beg for re-reading during the summer. View the list and find out how to win some of its titles here.

Twitter Chat Schedule

There’s no formal chat this week, but next Friday, May 11, we’ll be chatting with Cory MacLauchlin, author of “Butterfly in the Typewriter.” He’ll be moderating a chat from 2-3 p.m. CST and discussing his new biography of John Kennedy Toole. For those who haven’t read Toole’s “Confederacy of Dunces,” you’ve got one week to discover why Ignatius Reilly is one of the most loved, and hated, literary characters of all time.

Here’s the chat schedule for summer reading after that:

May 25: Host Michael Lee West, author of “A Teeny Bit of Trouble,” from 1-2 p.m. CST

June 8: Host Kimberly Brock, author of “The River Witch,” from 1-2 p.m. CST

June 29: Host Lynne Bryant, author of “Alligator Alley,” from  1-2 p.m. CST

Would you like to chat with another author on our Summer Reading List? Let us know, and we’ll try to make it happen!

Inside the App: James Lee Burke

South Louisiana native author James Lee Burke is a favorite for his novels about Detective Dave Robicheaux. His latest, “Creole Belle,” comes out July 17 and is included in our Summer Reading List. Burke hails from New Iberia, where many of his books are set, but lives in Montana, so when he comes back home, Victor’s Cafeteria is his restaurant of choice. Located on Main Street in the city’s revitalized downtown, Victor’s is famous for its plate lunches and pie. You’ll have to get the app to find out Burke’s favorite dish though.

Click here to download the Deep South Literary Trail App and find out more about James Lee Burke’s New Iberia haunts, along with sites related to many other Southern authors.

Dish on the ‘True Blood’ Cookbook

Chronicle Books announced a special cookbook in conjunction with the HBO show in March. Available for pre-order on Amazon now, the book is expected to ship at the end of August. Since only the cover has been released, we called recipe creator Marcelle Bienvenu and asked her to give us a hint of what the fictional town of Bon Temps’ residents – both dead and undead – might whip up. Read what she had to say here.

In the News

Julie E. Bloemeke featured in Coldfront for her Deep South poetry essay

BelleBooks Editorial Director Deborah Smith talks to It’s Only A Novel about publishing books in the South

Scarlett Johansson lists Truman Capote’s Summer Crossing as one of her favorite books on Oprah.com

Hotel Monteleone’s Tennessee Williams-themed Criollo restaurant sets opening date

Upcoming Literary Events

The launch party for Kimberly Brock’s “The River Witch” is TONIGHT at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, Georgia, at 7 p.m. Brock will be signing copies of her book on site.

Knoxville, Tennessee’s International Biscuit Festival is adding a Southern Food Writing Conference this year. To be held May 17-18, the conference will feature New Orleans Times Picayune restaurant critic Brett Anderson, features editor for Southern Living magazine Jennifer Cole, Sheri Castle, author of “The New Southern Garden Cookbook,” and several more speakers.

A trio of weekend events for listeners of podcast “Books on the Nightstand,” Booktopia makes a stop in Oxford, Mississippi, June 15-17, presenting authors Ellen Brown, Tom Franklin, Jesmyn Ward and more.

New in Southern Voice

“The Road to Texas” by Tom Honea – Tweet Tom about his story @thomhonea.

As always, comment on this post to discuss or make suggestions on any of the topics presented. Thanks for joining us for Literary Friday!

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