HomeArts & LitLiterary Friday, Edition 156

Literary Friday, Edition 156

Chat With Kirker Butler & Read an Excerpt From Pretty Ugly 

Pretty UglyCalled “a funny, slam-bam-thank you, ma’am, voyeuristic look at the world’s most dysfunctional family” by actress Jennifer Garner, Kirker Butler’s debut novel Pretty Ugly takes on the child pageant circuit. A former writer for “Family Guy” and a TV producer, Butler grew up in Kentucky where his mother was in charge of the county fair beauty pageants. In Pretty Ugly, obsessive pageant mom Miranda, her cheating, pill-popping husband Ray and their pageant queen daughter Bailey (who’s been binge-eating in secret to make herself too fat to compete) all struggle under the pressure, while Miranda looks to the baby girl in her belly to be the next star.

We chat with Kirker Butler on Twitter today from 1-2 CST (that’s 11 a.m.-noon PST & 2-3 p.m. EST) using the hashtag #southernlit. You can log into our chat room here to participate or just follow the hashtag on Twitter. Read an excerpt from Pretty Ugly here and participate in the chat for the chance to win a copy of the book. U.S. only winners please.

View our full Summer Reading List here and the complete Twitter chat schedule here


Literary News

Get the notes for part one of The Lonely Hunter Readalong and prepare to discuss part two next week. Post your thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #LonelyHunterDSM.

wisebloodTwisted Road Publications has a Southern Gothic Revival Anthology Short Fiction Contest going on with guest judge Dorothy Allison. Stories are due July 31, with $500 going to the first-place winner.

Flavorwire’s 20 Great Comic Book Series to Read This Summer includes Chew about a character with food-related powers created by Louisiana-based artist Rob Guillory.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux has released reissues of Flannery O’Connor’s classics The Complete Stories, Everything that Rises Must Converge, The Violent Bear It Away, Mystery and Manners and Wise Blood with new cover art just in time for summer reading.

Laura Lane McNeal’s impressive debut set in New Orleans, Dollbaby is out in paperback June 23.


Literary Events

The Welty Biennial in Jackson, Mississippi, is happening now through July 3 with exhibits, concerts, a dance party and snapshot contest.

Sundress Academy for the Arts in Knoxville, Tennessee’s June Reading Series will be held June 21 with visiting fiction writer Andra Watkins and local poet Darren Jackson.

Save the Date for Hemingway Days in Key West, Florida, July 21-26.

The Decatur Book Festival, scheduled for September 4-6, announced its keynote speaker and full author list recently. Book lovers can look forward to Erica Jong in conversation with Roxane Gay, plus Pat Conroy, Ron Rash, Lori Roy and Karen White.


New in Southern Voice

The Boy On the Hill, a story about a boy who drowns at a church pool party by Pretty Ugly author Kirker Butler, and Zinnias, a poem by Laura Sobbott Ross.


To find out more about your favorite Southern authors’ haunts and hangouts, download the Deep South Literary Trail App, available direct from iTunes and for Android and perfect for those summer road trips. 

The Boy on the Hill