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]olemiss.edu 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)
We were honored by five best-selling authors/illustrators visiting during the week which, incidentally, led up to the celebration of the thirty-second birthday of Square Books!
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).
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.
Pulitzer Prize winning author Oscar Hijuelos stopped by Off Square Books yesterday to read and discuss his new memoir Thoughts Without Cigarettes. Hijuelos is the author of eight novels including The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, which made him the first Hispanic to win the Pulitzer Prize and was later made into a film. During his reading, as you will hear, Hijuelos discussed the inspiration and process behind writing Mambo Kings. He even played a little guitar in between chapters. After the reading Hijuelos answered questions from the audience and played some more guitar before signing books. Signed copies of Thoughts Without Cigarettes are available here. You can listen to the entire reading below.
Oscar Hijuelos plays guitar for Lyn and Richard after his signing.