HomeArts & LitLiterary Friday, Edition 86

Literary Friday, Edition 86

Interview With Mark Childress, Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year 

markchildressfullCrazy in Alabama author and Monroeville native Mark Childress was recently announced as the winner of the 2014 Harper Lee Award, making him Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year. As his hometown prepares to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his debut novel, A World Made of Fire, Childress says he is thrilled to receive an award named after his hero and will travel from his Key West home to accept the prize at the annual Alabama Writers Symposium in April. Upon hearing the news and having recently made a pilgrimage to Monroeville herself, Cerith Mathias interviewed Childress by phone and asked him about writing in the shadow of Harper Lee, his moment of fame with Eudora Welty and adapting books into movies. Click here to read.

Fannie Flagg Giveaway 

Asked about his early days as a Southern writer, Mark Childress says, “When I started, there was me and there was Fannie Flagg. We were about it there for the first 10 years or so.” We have a copy of Flagg’s latest book, The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion, one of our Fall/Winter Reads, to give away today. Just comment on Literary Friday to enter, and we’ll choose a winner on Monday.

Also in Literary News …

From Gatsby to Grau, we compiled our Best Literary Moments of 2013 last week in case you missed the link.

Eudora Welty’s house in Jackson, Mississippi, now has its own lookalike Little Free Library out front, according to a report in the Clarion-Ledger.

gonegirlFlavorwire’s 10 Must-Read Books For January includes The Trip to Echo Spring On Writers and Drinking. We’re sure you can guess which Southerners made the cut.

Get a first look at Gone Girl the movie in The Huffington Post. Ben Affleck is a fitting choice for Nick Dunne, with Amy to be played by English actress Rosamunde Pike.

Book blogger extraordinaire Tamara Welch of Traveling With T has a list of her Best Books of 2013. You’ll want to print this one out and get to the library/nearest bookstore.

Literary Events 

The Key West Literary Seminar will be held January 9-12 and 16-19 this year with the theme “The Dark Side.” Guest authors include Megan Abbott, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Percival Everett, Gillian Flynn, Attica Locke and Joyce Carol Oates.

The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival along with Southern Rep presents New Play Bacchanal, a two-day extravaganza of plays, spoken word and discussion January 10-11 at Marigny Opera House in New Orleans.

The Atlanta History Center begins its 2014 Winter/Spring Lecture Series January 14 with James Carville and Mary Matalin on their new book Love and War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home. Future lectures will include Erskine Clark, Deborah Johnson, William Link, Kelly Corrigan, Nancy Horan, James McPherson, B.J. Novak, Karen Russell and more.

New in Southern Voice 

convertibleOpal and the Hussy, a story about a middle-aged spinster living in rural Mississippi who encounters a buxom blonde on her front porch one afternoon, by Diane Thomas-Plunk.


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

An Interview With Al
Let Them Eat King Ca
  • SusanR / January 3, 2014

    Every week on Literary Friday, I add more books to my list of books to read based on your recommendations. Thank you. Would love to win the Fannie Flagg book to add to my reads for the winter!

  • jessad / January 3, 2014

    Happy New Year-Cheers to continued success for the literary world

  • Kappadeemom / January 3, 2014

    Want to win the Fannie Flagg book – sounds like another winner from a great writer!

  • Beckie B. / January 3, 2014

    My book club read Flagg’s A Redbird Christmas in December. Would love a copy of her newest book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Anita / January 3, 2014

    I want to read the new Fannie Flagg book!! Literary Fridays are dangerous and exciting. Great books coming this year!!

    Check out my favorite books of 2013 and also have you seen the SIBA Okra picks for Winter 2014…fabulous Southern Fiction!!

  • Suzy / January 3, 2014

    Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is such a wonderful book, one that I will always remember. Would love to read Fannie’s latest.

  • Glynis / January 3, 2014

    I love Southern literature and can’t wait to read Fannie Flagg’s latest

  • tomi / January 3, 2014

    Looks like 2014 is already shaping up to be a great year for literature – both books and movies! I was surprised to see Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, but it doesn’t damper my excitement about the movie at all.

    Would love to check out the new Fannie Flagg, as well as your other recommendations – Literary Friday is dangerous for the pocketbook but glorious for the soul! Keep up the GREAT work!

  • Tamara / January 3, 2014

    Eeek! I was so bummed about missing Fannie at Lemuria- but had already made plans to have dinner/drinks with Susan Gregg Gilmore (who I adore!) One day, maybe, I’ll get to meet Fannie out and about!

    Would love to have a copy of the latest Fannie book- you know how I feel about my Southern Lit!

  • Galpix / January 3, 2014

    Always good information, always citing new books for me to find. I loved the interview with Mark Childress. Thanks, Deep South Mag, for all your hard work.