Thanks for joining us for Literary Friday each week during the past year. We’ve enjoyed meeting friends who love reading and Southern literature as much as we do and look forward to more chats in the New Year. Below are some of the highlights from our Arts & Lit section during 2013. Take a moment to comment and let us know your favorite literary feature or tell us what you’d like to see in 2014.
The release of Flannery O’Connor’s Prayer Journal occurred in November, bringing even more witty comments and words of wisdom from this beloved Southern writer to the public view. Read our review here.
Judy Garrison’s feature on Georgia preservationist and author Michael Kitchens and his book Ghosts of Grandeur was one of our most popular this year. Read more about Kitchens efforts to save the South’s architectural history in Tearing Down Tara.
Our report on New Orleans Culinary Library opening in November caused a flurry of activity in our social media feeds. Read more here, and stay tuned for more photos from inside the library next month.
Harper Lee suing her hometown made The New York Times‘ list of Literary Feuds of 2013. Find out more about the reclusive author’s beef with Monroeville, Alabama, here.
Editor Erin Z. Bass’s opportunity to interview Louisiana author Shirley Ann Grau (pictured) was a rare one this year. A staple of the Louisiana literary canon, Grau talks about winning the Pulitzer, living in New Orleans and why she hates being called a Southern writer in The Undramatic Life of Shirley Ann Grau.
Our Fall/Winter Reading List debuted in October, and we’re still celebrating. Mark your calendar for a Twitter chat with Wiley Cash on January 31!
Canadian writer Michael Hiebert’s post on Creating Alvin, Alabama, the fictional town in his novel Dream With Little Angels, offered a fascinating look at how authors develop their settings, even if they haven’t been there.
We listed Carl Hiaasen’s Most Memorable Characters in June in celebration of his new novel, Bad Monkey.
Our Summer Reading List was also revealed in June, offering 21 of the latest beach reads, mysteries and romances from down South.
Late spring of 2013 was all about the glitz and glamour of Gatsby. We ran a special Gatsby Edition of Literary Friday, Gatsby Companion Reading List, review of two novels about Zelda Fitzgerald in Zelda Gets Her Day, post by Rebecca Aulph on re-reading Gatsby after high school, roundup of related fashions by the likes of Tiffany and Brooks Brothers in Get Your Gatsby On and inside look at the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum’s annual gala.
Annie Neugebauer’s post on The Poetry of Place for National Poetry Month in April examined why so many poets are drawn to their surrounding landscapes.
In February, Lost Saints of Tennessee author Amy Franklin-Willis wrote an essay about going home for us in Graceland Bound.
In The Voices of Key West, Judy Garrison recapped the Key West Literary Seminar and got a rare look inside Tennessee Williams’ former home on the island.
UL Lafayette English professor Mary Ann Wilson’s wrote about the similarities between writers Kate Chopin and Rebecca Wells, who share more than just a birthday, in Searching for Southern Womanhood.
Our January interview with Attica Locke went behind the scenes of her book The Cutting Season, a mystery set on a real Louisiana plantation.