The second edition of the popular coffee-table book, Mississippians, is now available for pre order. The book profiles more than 350 Mississippians with more than 300 new photographs as well as tons of new features, including:

• The founder of the O. Henry prize
• The most decorated soldier in U.S. Army history
• The man who first bottled Coca-Cola
• The first woman to win a Pulitzer for Editorial Writing
• The man who taught Stephen Sondheim composition
• The first woman to own a major newspaper
• The world’s foremost physiologist
• The man who brought America reality television
• The youngest star on I Love Lucy
• The first American to fight fascism
and hundreds more.

 On Sale November 15, 2011. Click here to order. 


Ann Abadie Endowment for the Oxford Conference for the Book

Ann Abadie, a great friend to writers, books, and readers, and the longtime Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, is retiring this year. To honor Ann, the University of Mississippi has established an endowment to support the Oxford Conference for the Book, which Ann, along with Richard Howorth, founded more than 18 years ago. We encourage anyone interested in the endowment to send a contribution to The University of Mississippi Foundation, P.O. Box 249, University, MS 38677-0249 or contact Michael Upton at the Foundation, mupton[at] or 662-915-3027. Contributors should write checks to The University of Mississippi Foundation, designating the check to the Ann Abadie Endowment number 05149. 















(Ann Abadie with Richard Howorth at a book-signing for Etheridge Knight at Square Books, November, 1979. Photograph by William R. Ferris)

A Different Kind of Event with Charles Frazier

A different kind of author appearance event for Charles Frazier and his new novel, Nightwoods, on Monday, October 10, turned out to be a crowd pleaser as Katie McKee, literature and Southern Studies professor at the University of Mississippi, interviewed the soft spoken and modest author who always has seemed to shun the spotlight of celebrity that blazed upon him when his brilliant first novel, Cold Mountain, became a bestseller and won the National Book Award in 1997.   

McKee prompted remarks from the author about his writing methods (he does not plot or outline the story until he first has done a whole lot of writing) and some of the sources of inspiration for the story, including its characters, the setting of the lake, and 1960s radio music.  After a substantial conversation between the two, Frazier picked up the book and read the opening three paragraphs, and everyone was hooked.

The audience, who did not want to leave, was invited to ask questions, and one was about the author's own favorite books.   Frazier spoke of Thomas Hardy's minor works, The Woodlanders in particular, and of having read Steven Millhauser's Martin Dressler "at least four times," adding that he "could read it over and over again," the same thing Cody, Lyn and Sally have said about Nightwoods.

Artist John Alexander is coming to Square Books

John Alexander will be in Oxford this September, and we urge you to check out his exhibit currently at the University Museums, “One World, Two Artists: John Alexander and Walter Anderson,” and to attend the opening reception there September 22.

Square Books will host a book signing and cocktail reception for the artist, featuring copies of the extraordinarily beautiful book, John Alexander, by Jane Livingston, produced for his retrospective exhibition at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and published by Yale University Press (Call 1-800-648-4001 to order a copy).
Alexander is a native Texan who has lived and worked in New York since the late 1970s.  His work captures -- often breathtakingly -- the power, grotesquery, violence, mystery, and beauty of nature and animals, including humans, and has been exhibited and collected widely, including in the permanent collections of the Corcoran, the Ogden, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Smithsonian, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  

To find out more about John Alexander, we urge you to visit his site and read Julia Reed’s brilliant Garden and Gun piece. Please consider availing yourself of this opportunity to meet and find out more about one of America’s greatest artists.   RH

The Help: Fact and Fiction -- A Community Conversation

The Help.  Many have seen the movie, some have read the book.  But everybody’s talking about it.   On Wednesday, September 28 at 5 p.m., we will host a “Community Conversation” about The Help at Off Square Books, open to the public.

The Help, by Mississippian Kathryn Stockett, was published in February, 2009.  Initially rejected by over sixty publishers, the book has now been on the bestseller list over 100 weeks, published in 35 countries, and sold over five million copies.  The book’s film adaptation grossed over $100 million within the first three weeks of its release.

The story, set in Jackson, Mississippi, involves the relationship between a young white woman and two black maids in the early 1960s period and environment of Civil Rights.

The featured guests for our event are Gene Dattel, Mississippi native and author of Cotton and Race in the Making of America: The Human Costs of Economic Power, called “a superb study” by historian Niall Ferguson, and Deidra Jackson, journalist and University of Mississippi faculty member.  Dattel has given presentations on “The Help: Fact or Fiction” and Jackson has published articles about The Help.

We will have a moderator on hand to keep the conversation going and help field questions from the audience.  This event is free and open to everyone with seating available on a first come first serve basis.  RH

For more information and the event listing please click here