HomeArts & LitLiterary Friday, Edition 75

Literary Friday, Edition 75

Plantation Country Book Giveaway

River_Road_RamblerOur October travel story winds down the River Road through New Orleans Plantation Country. Stretching approximately 100 miles and dotted with homes, churches, museums, gardens and more, the River Road can be a bit intimidating to navigate. Where to stop? What to see? Author Mary Ann Sternberg has spent more than two decades exploring this historic corridor and presents 15 sketches about sites along this scenic route in her book “River Road Rambler: A Curious Traveler along Louisiana’s Historic Byway.”

We have one copy to give away. To be entered to win, comment on Literary Friday with your own plantation experience, whether it be visiting in Louisiana or another state, or just something you dream of doing. We’ll choose a winner on Monday.

Fall/Winter Reading List 

Our list isn’t quite ready yet (hopefully on Monday), but as usual, we’ll keep up with our reading list authors and share links to interviews, booksignings and more through the winter. Here’s a bit of a preview:

She Reads visits with Lee Smith, author of “Guests On Earth,” due out October 15.

Goodreads interviews Donna Tartt about her latest novel “The Goldfinch,” its similarities to her cult classic “The Secret History” and how she stays focused in the 10 or so years between writing her books.

Read an excerpt from “The Tilted World” by Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin in The Oxford American.

Literary News & Blogs

annericeToday is vampire queen Annie Rice’s birthday. Born in New Orleans, Rice brought the city’s Garden District to life in her Witching Hour series and wrote “Interview With the Vampire,” which was made into a movie filmed in plantation country.

Speaking of vampires, scientists have developed a system to tell which vampire books will have the “Twilight” effect. It’s no surprise that Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series meets the criteria.

The Steel Magnolias home in Natchitoches, Louisiana, will hit the auction block on October 26 and sold to the highest bidder. Known as the The Cook-Taylor House, the bed and breakfast was used during filming of the movie, based on the stage play by Robert Harling, and has been up for sale.

Good news for Literary Friday fans. The New York Times reports on a new study that found reading literary fiction can lead to increased empathy. Popular fiction and serious nonfiction didn’t have the same effect, so dust off those classics.

Banned Books Week might be over, but you’ll want to see Flavorwire’s Awesome Illustrated Mugshots of Characters From Famous Banned Books. Janie Crawford looks good even under arrest.

A companion book “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” to the PBS series of the same name was released October 1 by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Donald Yacovone, both with the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and American Research at Harvard. The series airs October 22 through November 26 and chronicles 500 years of African American history.

Literary Events

The Grand Festival of Books in Fairhope, Alabama, will be held this Saturday at the Fairhope Public Library with authors Jamie Deen, John Milliken Thompson, Sonny Brewer and more.

major survey of Edgar Allan Poe’s career opens today at Morgan Library & Museum in New York City. Comprising more than a hundred works that explore Poe’s fiction, poetry, literary criticism and influence on diverse writers, “Terror of the South” will be on display through January 26.

FannieFlaggThe Southern Festival of Books in Nashville will take place October 11-13 at War Memorial Plaza. This year’s authors include Ace Atkins, Rick Bragg, Wiley Cash, Therese Ann Fowler, Tom Franklin, Ann Hite, Jill McCorkle, Mary Alice Monroe, Susan Rebecca White and many more.

“Forrest Gump” author Winston Groom will be at Page and Palette in Fairhope, Alabama, October 30 to sign copies of his latest book “The Aviators.”

The Louisiana Book Festival is scheduled for November 2 in Baton Rouge this year, with Wally Lamb, Shirley Ann Grau (pictured), Rita Leganski and Beth Ann Fennelly attending. See our preview of authors and events here.

Fannie Flagg will be at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center in Fairhope November 5 for a luncheon, discussion and booksigning for her new novel “The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion.”

The Festival of Words in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, will be held November 7-9 with readings by nationally recognized authors, creative writing workshops, a community stage for open mics and drive-by poetry.

The Key West Film Festival November 13-17 will feature special guest Mariel Hemingway and her film “Running From Crazy” about her family’s history of mental illness. After the November 15 premiere and a Q&A session, a reception will be held at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.

oaktreeNew in Southern Voice 

The Woman of the House by Camille Hugret and Sin Eater by Benjamin Dubroc, a pair of stories about life on Louisiana plantations.


To find out more about Southern authors’ haunts and hangouts, download the Deep South Literary Trail App, available direct from iTunes and for Android

Steel Magnolias Hous
Movies Filmed on Lou
  • MissSusie / October 4, 2013

    We visited Laura Plantation in Feb. we had a wonderful young man as our tour guide he was just great and answered all our questions and took a family picture of us in front of the house. he made our tour even better!
    PS I can not wait for Fannie Flagg’s new book!

  • Michele / October 4, 2013

    IF I ever win the lottery, I want to build a plantation home with columns in the front and a porch all around the sides of the house!

  • Britney Adams / October 4, 2013

    We have visited Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, TN. It is beautiful and a wonderful place to tour! It is also the inspiration for Tamera Alexander’s new book, “To Whisper Her Name”. I look forward to visiting the plantation again through the pages of Tamera’s historical fiction novel.

  • jessad / October 5, 2013

    our parents took us on many summer vacations in a station wagon with 3 kids my grandma and aunt-we made many stops at historical landmarks-Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, was an awesome place to visit

    • Michele / October 9, 2013

      Thank you so much!! Funny thing, I grew up living on the mouth of the Mississippi River. Guess I REALLY lived on a river road!