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An Unforeseen Life by Mary Ann Connell

When Mary Ann Connell was born, her father told the town: If it's a boy, I'll send up black smoke; if it's a girl, I'll send up white. The entire town of Louisville, Mississippi, saw white smoke billowing from the chimney, announcing Bill Strong had a daughter. This smoke--determined by gender--would come to define Mary Ann's life in ways none of them could have excepted. As a child, fire robbed her of a precious piece of her life. Later, Mary Ann faced a different kind of firestorm as she became one of the first women lawyers practicing in Oxford, Mississippi. An Unforeseen Life is Mary Ann's account of the many joys and trials of her life--from attending Harvard Law School with classmate Barack Obama, to serving as the president of a national association of university attorneys; from losing her husband to cancer to defending the wrongful termination suit of beloved Ole Miss football coach Billy Brewer. This powerful memoir is a funny, touching account of a life "most richly blessed," if sometimes in unexpected ways. The book releases on April 11th from The Nautilus Publishing Company and we'll have an event at Off Square Books at 5pm that evening. Click here to pre-order.

The Blood of Emmett Till

A large crowd waited patiently Friday evening, February 2, for Timothy Tyson’s arrival, when he gave a passionate, rousing, extemporaneous presentation on The Blood of Emmett Till and how Till’s brutal and unresolved murder, racism, and endangered civil rights are reverberating now in early 2017.   

Jack Smith, of Tupelo, Mississippi and the son of Robert B. Smith, the prosecutor in the Till trial, was in the audience with a scrapbook of related clippings and memorabilia, which he talked about prior to Tim Tyson’s appearance.

Timothy Tyson is Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Professor of American Christianity and Culture at Duke, and adjunct professor of American Studies at the University of North Carolina. 

Pictured below are Jack Smith (right) with the author (left).  We thank Tim’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, for publishing this important book and for sponsoring Tim’s appearance here in Oxford.  Signed first edition copies of the book are available from Square Books.

Amor Towles and Michael Farris Smith at Square Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, February 8th at 5pm

Amor Towles - A Gentleman in Moscow

From the author of the delicious 1930s period piece, Rules of Civility, comes this lively novel set in post-revolution Moscow. Count Alexander Rostov, worldly aristocrat and enemy-of-the-people expects to be "put against the wall" or  incarcerated in the hellhole of Lubyanka when called before the People's Commissariat. Instead, he is sentenced to live the rest of his life in the Metropol Hotel where he has been living for four years. But--no longer will he be in the swank Room 317--he's assigned to a bleak attic room and the state takes his elegant furnishings. He will be shot if he ever leaves the hotel. The wily Rostov makes the best of things in this tale peopled by an Eloise-like 9 year old, a group of novice ballerinas, a famous actress, an old beekeeping custodian, an orphan, a musician prince, and numerous hotel employees who befriend him. Drama, intrigue, food and wine talk! -- LH

http://www.squarebooks.com/event/amor-towles-gentleman-moscow

Thursday, February 9th at 6pm (Thacker Mountain Radio)

Michael Farris Smith - Desperation Road

Russell Gaines returns home from a prison term only to confront two brothers with revenge on their minds.  And when he meets a homeless woman and her child, his troubles are compounded.  Michael Farris Smith sets his characters on a path that was begun by Faulkner and continued by Larry Brown but it is one not confined to the Deep South but part of the undercurrent of American society.  While it may be a road of desperation it can also be, sometimes, one of redemption.  In Smith's case, it is all that and more in a powerful, unforgettable work. -- BC

http://www.squarebooks.com/event/michael-farris-smith-desperation-road

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