General Event

Jim Grimsley with HOW I SHED MY SKIN



"White people declared that the South would rise again. Black people raised a fist and chanted for Black Power. Somehow we negotiated a space between those poles and learned to sit in classrooms together . . . Lawyers, judges, adults declared that the days of separate schools were over, but we were the ones who took the next step. History gave us a piece of itself. We made of it what we could." --Jim Grimsley In August of 1966, Jim Grimsley entered the sixth grade in his small eastern North Carolina hometown. But this year marked a significant shift in the way the people there--especially the white people--lived their lives. It was the year federally mandated integration of the schools went into effect, at first allowing students to change schools through "freedom of choice," replaced two years later by forced integration. For Jim, going to one of the private schools that almost immediately sprang up was not an option: his family was too poor to consider paying tuition, and while they shared the community's dismay over the mixing of the races, they had bigger, more immediate problems to face. Now, more than forty years later, Grimsley, a critically acclaimed novelist, revisits that school and those times, remembering his personal reaction to his first real exposure to black children and to their culture, and his growing awareness of his own mostly unrecognized racist attitudes."How I Shed My Skin "is honest, unflinching, and deeply moving, an important work that takes readers inside those classrooms and onto the playing fields as, ever so tentatively, alliances were forged and friendships established, while all around them the adults found it impossible to accept the changes being wrought. And as we mark the fiftieth anniversary of this turbulent time, Grimsley asks, how far have we really come? "In all his beautiful works, Jim Grimsley has told hard, hidden truths in luminous, subtle prose. Here, he renders history not on the grand, sociological scale, where it is usually written, but on very personal terms, where it is lived . . . But Grimsley's book illuminates a very large theme--the shadow old evil casts upon the young . . . Exquisite." --Moira Crone, author of "The Not Yet"

How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood By Jim Grimsley Cover Image
Email or call for price and availability.
ISBN: 9781616203764
Published: Algonquin Books - April 14th, 2015

"White people declared that the South would rise again. Black people raised one fist and chanted for black power. Somehow we negotiated a space between those poles and learned to sit in classrooms together . . . Lawyers, judges, adults declared that the days of separate schools were over, but we were the ones who took the next step. History gave us a piece of itself.

Thomas McGuane with CROW FAIR: STORIES


About the Author

Thomas McGuane lives in McLeod, Montana. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the author of ten novels, three works of nonfiction, and two other collections of stories.

Thomas McGuane’s The Bushwacked Piano, The Cadence of Grass, Driving on the Rim, Gallatin Canyon, Keep the Change, The Longest Silence, Ninety-two in the Shade, Nobody’s Angel, Nothing but Blue Skies, Panama, Some Horses, Something to Be Desired, The Sporting Club, and To Skin a Cat are available in Vintage paperback.



From one of our most deeply admired storytellers, author of the richly acclaimed Gallatin Canyon, his first collection in nine years.

Set in Thomas McGuane’s accustomed Big Sky country, with its mesmeric powers, these stories attest to the generous compass of his fellow feeling, as well as to his unique way with words and the comic genius that has inspired comparison with Twain and Gogol. The ties of family make for uncomfortable binds: A devoted son is horrified to discover his mother’s antics before she slipped into dementia. A father’s outdoor skills are no match for an ominous change in the weather. But complications arise equally in the absence of blood, as when lifelong friends on a fishing trip finally confront their deep dislike for each other. Or when a gifted traveling cattle breeder succumbs to the lure of a stranger’s offer of easy money. McGuane is as witty and large-hearted as we have ever known him—a jubilant, thunderous confirmation of his status as a modern master.



Special Screening of Internationally Acclaimed Documentary SHADOWS OF LIBERTY

    Shadows Of Liberty presents insider accounts of how journalists and their news stories have been censored, manipulated, and destroyed by corporate greed and power. Julian Assange, Danny Glover, David Simon, Amy Goodman, Dan Rather, and a host of award winning journalists and government experts all discuss their experiences at the dark heart of American news. The overwhelming power of these private corporations has come through a series of important political handouts by government throughout US history, especially in the last 30 years. Stories of corporate greed winning out over fundamental media values are laid wide open in our critically acclaimed film.

Kevin Sessums with I LEFT IT ON THE MOUNTAIN



On his 53rd birthday, Kevin Sessums woke up in his L.A. hotel room wondering how he would get through his scheduled interview with Hugh Jackman. For years he had interviewed the bright lights: Madonna, Courtney Love, Jessica Lange, and all the other usual suspects; but, Kevin knew that his rapidly unraveling life was as shallow as the hotel's hip furniture and he was hanging on by his fingertips. In I Left It on the Mountain, Sessums chronicles his early days in NY as an actor, his years working for Andy Warhol at Interview and Tina Brown at Vanity Fair, countless nights of anonymous sex, his HIV Positive diagnosis and his descent into addiction. It's also the chronicle of one man's spiritual redemption found while climbing to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostelo and trudging across the cold, lonely winter beaches of Provincetown. Peopled with the famous like Daniel Radcliffe and Diane Sawyer as well as anonymous companions corporeal and otherwise whom he met while mountain climbing and hiking, I Left It on the Mountain is the story of one man's fall and rebirth, the next moving chapter in Kevin Sessums' extraordinary life that takes him from the high to the low and back again. For readers who loved Mississippi Sissy and want to know what happened to that tenacious little boy with the baseball mitt, I Left It On the Mountain is the sometimes very dark, but ultimately hopeful answer.

About the Author

KEVIN SESSUMS is Editor-in-Chief of 429 and author of the New York Times bestseller Mississippi Sissy. He was previously a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Allure. His work has appeared in Elle, Travel + Leisure, Playboy, Out, and Show People. He lives in San Francisco, California.


Oxford Conference for the Book

“But above all, the courthouse: the center, the focus, the hub; sitting looming in the center of the county’s circumference like a single cloud in its ring of horizon…”—William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun

9:00 a.m. Poetry Readings and Conversation
Beth Ann Fennelly, moderator
Chelsea Wagenaar, Richard Katrovas, and Barbara Ras
Lafayette County Courthouse on the Oxford Square

10:30 a.m. Southern Foodways Alliance Session
John T. Edge
David Shields and Sean Brock
Lafayette County Courthouse on the Oxford Square

12:00 p.m. Poetry Talk and Lunch
Barbara Ras
Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library
Sponsored by the Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library
(Advance Registration Required)

1:15 p.m. David Simon, Creator of The Wire and Tremé
Introduction by Brandi Hephner LaBanc, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Presented in partnership with the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies as part of the 15th Annual Isom Student Gender Conference
Lafayette County Courthouse on the Oxford Square

2:30 p.m. Square Books Session #3
Reading and Conversation
Tim Johnston and David Vann
Lafayette County Courthouse on the Oxford Square

3:45 p.m. Joel Williamson’s Elvis Presley: A Southern Life
Susan Ferber, moderator
Peter Guralnick, Preston Lauterbach, and Ted Ownby

5:00 p.m. Closing Reception and Book Signing
Off Square Books

Oxford Conference for the Book

9:00 a.m. Sports and Race: How Athletics Transcended Segregation
Curtis Wilkie, Moderator
Andrew Maraniss, Kyle Veazey, and Jody Hill
Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics

9:30-11:30 a.m. Poetry Workshop
Geffrey Davis and F. Douglas Brown
Lamar Hall Conference Room
(Free Event, Advance Registration Required, 30 Seats Available)

10:30 a.m. Writing with Pictures
Jack Pendarvis, moderator
Kent Osborne, Seo Kim, and Natasha Allegri
Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics

12:00 p.m. Lunch on Your Own

1:30 p.m. Cave Canem: Poetry Readings and Conversation
Chiyuma Elliot, moderator
Geffrey Davis, F. Douglas Brown, and Caroline Randall Williams
Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics

3:00 p.m. Square Books Session #2
Reading and Conversation
Phil Klay and John Renehan
Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics

5:00 p.m. Doors open for Square Books pop-up shop and book signing with Thursday authors
The Lyric Theater on the Oxford Square

6:00 p.m. Thacker Mountain Radio
Featuring writers and musical guests
The Lyric Theater on the Oxford Square

Oxford Conference for the Book

9:00 a.m. The OCB Children’s Book Festival: 1st Grade
Adam Rubin, author of Those Darn Squirrels
Gertrude C. Ford Center for Performing Arts
*This program is for area schoolchildren, but conference-goers are welcome to attend.

12:00 noon Welcome Lunch
Hosted by the University of Mississippi Library Archives
and Special Collections

Welcome by James Thomas; Richard Forgette, Dean of Liberal Arts; and Jennifer Ford, Head of Archives and Special Collections
3rd Floor of J. D. Williams Library

Margaret Walker Exhibition
Archives and Special Collections
3rd Floor of J. D. Williams Library

1:30 p.m. Margaret Walker Speaker
Maryemma Graham
Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics

Comments and Reflections
Robby Luckett, Moderator, Carolyn J. Brown, Jerry W. Ward
Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics

3:30 p.m. Reading
LaShonda Katrice Barnett, author of Jam on the Vine
Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics

5:00 p.m. Square Books Session #1
Signing and Reading
Kent Russell, author of I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son
Off Square Books

6:30 p.m. Opening Reception
Barksdale-Isom Place
(Requires Purchased Ticket)

Jamie Kornegay with SOIL



A darkly comic debut novel by an independent bookseller about an idealistic young farmer who moves his family to a Mississippi flood basin, suffers financial ruin--and becomes increasingly paranoid he's being framed for murder.
It all began with a simple dream. An ambitious young environmental scientist hoped to establish a sustainable farm on a small patch of river-bottom land nestled among the Mississippi hills. Jay Mize convinced his wife Sandy to move their six-year-old son away from town and to a rich and lush parcel where Jacob could run free and Jay could pursue the dream of a new and progressive agriculture for the twenty-first century. He did not know that within a year he'd be ruined, that flood and pestilence would invade his fledgling farm or that his wife and son would leave him to pick up the pieces by himself.
When Jay Mize discovers a corpse on his property, he is sure his bad luck has come to a head and he is being framed. Were Jay in his right mind, he might have reported the body to the police at the very same moment they were searching for a missing tourist from Ohio. He might have not dragged the body back to his farm under the cover of night and spent hours disposing of it. But Jay Mize is not in his right mind. His mounting paranoia is accelerated by a hot-rod local deputy, nosing around with questions about the missing tourist and making dark comments about Jay's estranged wife Sandy. It's enough to make an honest man a maniac...
Drawing on elements of classic Southern noir, dark comedy, and modern dysfunction, Jamie Kornegay's novel is about the gravitational pull of one man's apocalypse and the hope that maybe, just maybe, he can be reeled in from the brink. Readers will "applaud the arrival of an exquisitely deranged new voice to American fiction" (Jonathan Miles, award-winning author of "Want Not" and "Dear American Airlines").