Literary Friday, Edition 158
The Edgar Award-winning Florida author’s third novel, Let Me Die in His Footsteps, has been called a return to Southern Gothic. We talk to Lori Roy about what the genre means to hear, finding suspense in a gorgeous lavender field and the importance of acknowledging historical events.
Inspired by the story of the last public hanging in the country in 1936, Roy introduces a haunting novel in which there’s a certain kind of evil that can never be vanquished, not by time, not by generations, not even by the intense aroma of Kentucky lavender. Annie Holleran has the blight that has long inflicted the women in her family. Despite what she’s told, Annie knows it’s a curse, not a gift. She also knows about the rift between the Holleran and Baines families. A silence of almost 16 years has loomed over the fields that separate the two clans, and it’s been that way ever since 1936 when her Aunt Juna played a part in the death of Joseph Carl Baine.
Read the first chapter of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman in The Wall Street Journal today before the official book release on July 14.
A good book is easy to find in Savannah as the city installs its fifth Little Free Library dedicated to hometown writer Flannery O’Connor.
The guardian explains why Southern Gothic rules the world in a piece by Louisiana writer M.O. Walsh.
Book a room in our Florida travel guide to Mary Kay Andrews’ Beach Town.
Visit the newly designated Storybook Capital of Texas in Abilene.
And Elyse Vincenty brings us the Southern Literary Foods of Summer — from scuppernongs to homemade ice cream.
Save the Date for Hemingway Days in Key West, Florida, July 21-26.
And mystery writers will stage a celebration of sleuthing in Key West August 14-16 titled Murder & Mayhem in Paradise.
The inaugural Mississippi Book Festival will take place August 22 at the Capitol in Jackson with special guest John Grisham, author panels and signings, live music and more.
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 Collection, a Southern Gothic summer tale about an obituary writer, by Lauren Davidson.
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.