Leanne Shapton is an artist and writer who once competed for a slot on
the Canadian Olympic swim team. She didn't make the squad but was good
enough to get close, which meant she spent hours and months and years
swimming and training and thinking -- deeply -- about what it all meant
to her life. With the XXX Olympiad and the names of Michael Phelps, Missy
Franklin and Ryan Lochte fresh on our minds, and 100+ temperatures out
there now, it's a good time to dive into Leanne Shapton's refreshingly
Ian Frazier says “Padgett Powell is one of the best writers in America—and one of the funniest, too.” His stories are cousin to Barry Hannah’s (read the masterpiece Typical), his ear for dialog is Weltian, and I believe him to be Faulkner’s closest stylistic kin. Not at all derivative, though--his writing is aggressively his own. You and Me will conjure up Godot for smarties, but me, I’m thinking “Water Liars.” Basically, two baby-boomer geezers (yes, that’s us) with nothing better in this world to do sit around and jaw about stuff: “Things disturb them.” Just a few of those things are sex, Parker shotguns, Miles Davis, fishing, R. Crumb, cowardice, Jayne Mansfield, lard-and-hair sandwiches, nihilism, dogs, Tarzan, GERD, Sherman, Oz, people who should die of a terrible virus (tyrants, driving cell-phone talkers, litterbugs), and the deaths of Julia Child and Ray Charles, which “contributed directly to the collapse of Life as we thought we knew it.” As the guys put it, they “are talky bums with decent clothes and odor under control but bums all the same...” Powell craycray for sure, but pert near genius. LH
PADGETT POWELL WILL BE A GUEST ON THACKER MOUNTAIN RADIO THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6. SIGNING AFTER THE SHOW.
Jackie Lyons is a former vice detective with the Memphis Police Department who is trying to put her life back together: her husband has sent divorce papers, she's broke, and needs a place to live. But a failed marriage, unemployment, and most recently a fire in her apartment aren't her only problems: she also sees ghosts.
Since Jackie left the force, she's been making ends meet by photographing crime scenes for her old friends on the force, and for the occasional collector. When she is called to the murder scene of the Playhouse Killer's latest victim, she starts seeing crime scenes from a different perspective-- her new camera captures images of ghosts. As her new camera brings occasional ghostly visitors into sharper relief, it also points her toward clues the ex-detective in her won't let go: did the man she has just started dating kill his wife? Is the Playhouse Killer someone she knows?
As Jackie works to separate the natural from the supernatural, friend from foe, and light from dark, the spirit world and her own difficult past become the only things she can depend on to solve the case.
A technical writer/editor for the U.S. Postal Service, JEFF CROOK is also the author of several fantasy books in the Dragonlance series including Conundrum and The Thieve's Guild. He lives in Mississippi with his wife and two sons. This is his first mystery.
When Faulkner was buried here in Oxford, businesses on the Square closed for a fifteen-minute period, from 2:00 -- 2:15 p.m., as the long hearse carrying the small body of the great writer motored slowly around the Square on its way to St. Peter's Cemetery. In a similarly modest demonstration of respect, on Friday, July 6, at that same time of day, Square Books will close its stores for a fifteen minute period.
For more information about the fiftieth anniversary of Faulkner's death, click here.
Where’s Waldo, you ask? In this town, he’s everywhere. Celebrating Waldo’s twenty-fifth birthday and in support of local businesses across the nation, the WHERE’S WALDO LOCAL campaign in Oxford got off to a great start through the Oxford, Mississippi, Downtown Council. Twenty-five businesses around the town square agreed to participate – hiding a small Waldo figure in their stores in a new place each day so that children could come in, find Waldo in twenty out of twenty-five stores, and get vouchers which they could turn in for a Waldo button and a chance to win prizes.
The promotion began July 1 and by Monday, July 9, seventy-five children already had turned in their Coupons. And the momentum continues to grow, according to WHERE’S WALDO LOCAL coordinator Alissa Lilly, who works at Square Books. “We went along with the Waldo thing just because it sounded like a neat idea,” said one business owner, “but we never dreamed it would bring so many people in our store!” A mother was reported looking around for Waldo because “my daughter is away at camp and begged me to go find Waldo.”
Lilly was contacted for comment but was too busy making new “I Found Waldo” cards and rounding up more prizes, many of which will come from participating stores, because the Waldo buttons are running out fast. The promotion, which continues through July 31, also features numerous appearances around the square by a real-life Waldo.
He's turning twenty-five this year, and to celebrate, the famous fellow in the striped shirt and black-rimmed specs is visiting 25 stores on the Square all through the month of July. From Off Square Books to Nest Paper Studio, from Knit1 Oxford to Holli’s Sweet Tooth, Waldo figures are showing up July 1-31. Those who spot him can win prizes, including buttons, books, and more.
Anyone who wishes to participate can pick up a “Find Waldo in Oxford, MS” search list at Square Books, Jr.
Waldo will make his debut on the historic Square on Saturday, June 30 during the Oxford Downtown Council’s “Happy Birthday, Oxford! Summer Fest”. In addition to the launch of "Where's Waldo Local", activities will include Mrs. Mary's Petting Zoo, birthday cake, bounce ride, popcorn and cotton candy machines, dunk tank and face painting. You could even get a chance to dunk Square Books, Jr's Jill Moore!