HomeArts & LitLiterary Friday, Edition 77

Literary Friday, Edition 77

Interview, Giveaway & Chat With Rita Leganski 

silenceofbonaventureOur first chat of the fall/winter reading season in conjunction with the Louisiana Book Festival is with Rita Leganski, author of “The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow.” A magical book set in 1950s New Orleans, “Bonaventure Arrow” is about a little boy born without a voice. What he does have is an exceptional sense of hearing that will help to uncover his family’s long-buried secrets. A native of Wisconsin who now teaches at DePaul University, Leganski became enchanted with Southern literature from afar as a child. She wrote her book without ever having visited New Orleans, managing to get the mood and tone of the South right after years of reading Carson McCullers, Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor.

Find out more about her love of Southern literature, Bonaventure Arrow and her writing process in our interview with her. We’ll also be chatting with Leganski from 1-2 CST today using the hashtag #southernlit. Sign into our chat room here.

We have two copies of “The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow” to give away today. One will go to a lucky chat participant, but for the other, enter to win by leaving a comment here and tell us why you want to read this book. We’ll choose a winner on Monday.

Fall Reading Author Watch

Lee Smith’s “Guests on Earth” was released this week. Get the inside story on the book and Smith’s own heartbreaking personal story in this video by Algonquin.

Southern as a Second Language” by Lisa Patton also hit shelves this week. The book is part of Patton’s Dixie series, which also includes “Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter” and “Yankee Doodle Dixie.”

Ann Hite shares her notes from the road as she travels the South promoting “The Storycatcher.”

The Rumpus has an interview with Mississippi Gulf Coast native Jesmyn Ward about her new memoir “Men We Reaped.”

Literary News

faulknerkitchenThe New Yorker gives a glowing review to 12 Years a Slave, in theaters today. We’ll have the real story of the woman who revived Solomon Northup’s memoir and her son who’s helping to keep his mother’s life’s work alive with the audiobook version.

Offering up sketches of characters like The Misfit from Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find, The Composites is now on Tumblr.

Gwarlingo has a profile on Georgia poet David Bottoms plus six poems from his new collection “We Almost Disappear.”

Take a tour of William Faulkner’s Mississippi kitchen at Rowan Oak over at Apartment Therapy.

And with Halloween approaching, Flavorwire has 20 Photos of Famous Authors in Awesome Costumes that includes Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, a stunning Zelda Fitzgerald, Truman Capote and Anne Rice.

Literary Events

AILD poster--cannesThe Oxford Film Festival will host the Mississippi premiere of James Franco’s “As I Lay Dying” on October 21 at 7 p.m. at The Lyric. Tickets are $20 a person.

The Library at Birmingham Botanical Gardens presents an evening with “The Drunken Botanist” author Amy Stewart October 25.  Cocktails from the book will be served, and admission is $20.

“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, 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.

New in Southern Voice 

Before We Were Almost Lovers, fiction about the end of an affair, by A.K. Benninghofen.


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

North Carolina Brewe
Before We Were Almos
  • jessad / October 18, 2013

    1st I’m a northerner from Michigan 2nd our son moved to New Orleans in May and I’m trying to read and learn about the area-this story is something that makes me remember when my mom used to say to take the time to listen, close your eyes and just listen. I’m amazed even now as I’m sitting on the patio the birds-nature-the leaves rustling in the trees-imagine what this young boy had really heard

  • Suzette / October 18, 2013

    Working with special needs children and wondering what they are thinking daily… Their voices silenced by things beyond their control. What secrets do they have that they are unable to communicate?

  • Ana / October 18, 2013

    I would LOVE to read “The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow” it does sound magical and I’m sure it’s an emotional read. And there’s nothing better than a book that will touch you and make you feel or connect to the characters.
    I had guests over and couldn’t join the #southernlit chat on twitter:( but I’ll definitely read all the Qs and As so I will know more about this book and Rita.
    Thank you for letting me know there’s still a chance to win it, fingers crossed:) XX

  • GinaD / October 19, 2013

    I would like to read The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow because I enjoy southern lit 🙂 Also read some of the twitter chat and love that Rita was writing with a cat in her lap.

  • KATHLEEN BIANCHI / October 19, 2013

    I think it will be very interesting to find out how the little boy is able to hear family secrets.

  • annie / October 19, 2013

    I am captivated with The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow. This novel sounds beautiful and unique. Thanks for this interesting post.