Literary Friday, Edition 107
Growing Up (and a Twitter Chat & Giveaway) With Amy Conner
Debut author Amy Conner, who hails from both Jackson, Mississippi, and New Orleans, released her book The Right Thing at the end of May. A coming of age story set in Jackson, The Right Thing is about childhood best friends Annie Banks and Starr Dukes who haven’t seen each other in 27 years. When they run into each other in the dressing room of a local boutique, Annie must decide whether to do the right thing and help her old friend — who’s now pregnant and broke — or keep up the facade of a good Southern housewife. Conner remembers her own childhood best friend fondly and says “I think most little kids have a best friend at some time in their life and we never really recapture that particular kind of friendship.”
Conner manages to capture the power of friendship in The Right Thing, while telling a story that moves from funny to sad to empowering. She talks about telling stories, growing up and being compared to Southern authors Fannie Flagg and Kathryn Stockett in our interview. We’ll also be chatting with Amy live on Twitter from 1-2 p.m. CST using the hashtag #southernlit. Publisher Kensington Books has been gracious enough to offer up three copies of The Right Thing for giveaway. All you have to do is participate in the chat for the chance to win!
We have an update this week from Atlanta’s Good Country Pictures on bringing Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away and her short stories to TV and film.
Vanity Fair poses the question It’s Tartt — But Is it Art? about The Goldfinch‘s success and Pulitzer Prize win despite bad reviews from high literary critics.
12 Minute Muse interviews Georgia poet David Bottoms in this month’s podcast.
Virginia poet Lyn Lifshin has a new book of poems out titled Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle from Texas Review Press. Read her poem “Dream of Ivy” in Deep South here.
Writer Jill Warren Lucas, who was on the recent press trip to Winston-Salem with us, recalls the welcome table of Maya Angelou on her blog.
Read a review of the Elberta Hotel in Lyons, Georgia, where Margaret Mitchell once spent the night, over at Getaways for Grownups.
Traveling With T blogger Tamara Welch’s full report from BEA in New York is up on her blog and includes meeting authors like mystery queen Mary Higgins Clark.
The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival’s Poetry Contest is now open for submissions. The contest deadline is September 5, and the winner will receive $1,000, publication and access to countless great panels and events at the 2015 festival.
Today’s tweet is about the book Ruby, one of our chosen summer reads.
See Karen White at TurnRow Books in Greenwood, Mississippi, on June 18, when she’ll be signing and reading from her new novel A Long Time Gone.
The Sweet Potato Queen Jill Conner Browne comes to New Orleans June 19-22 for FestiGals, an event uniting women of all ages.
Mary Alice Monroe and Patti Callahan Henry will be at the Atlanta History Center‘s Margaret Mitchell House June 25 to discuss their summer reads.
Hemingway Days will take place in Key West, Florida, July 15-20, with highlights including the “Papa” Hemingway look-alike contest, prose and poetry readings, an offbeat “Running of the Bulls,” marlin tournament and the culmination of an internationally recognized short story competition directed by Ernest’s author granddaughter Lorian Hemingway.
Save the date for the annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference with the theme “Faulkner and History” July 20-24 in Oxford, Mississippi.
New in Southern Voice
Miss Ollie’s Yard Work, a story about paying your dues, by Tennessee native Mary Anne Sanders.
To find out more about Southern authors’ haunts and hangouts, download the Deep South Literary Trail App, available direct from iTunes and for Android. The app has recently been updated with several new sites and lots of new photos just in time for those summer road trips!