Key Date: January 30th



Claire Cook, the novelist whose Must Love Dogs was made into a film starring Diane Lane and John Cusack; journalist turned New York Times best-selling author Mary Kay Andrews; and Courtney Miller Santo, author of The Roots of the Olive Tree and creative-writing teacher at the University of Memphis: These are the featured authors, and January 31st is the date for Literacy Mid-South's "Literacy Is Key: A Book & Author Affair" at the Holiday Inn, University of Memphis. The program starts with a "Prologue Party" of book sales and signings at 10 a.m., followed by lunch beginning at 11 a.m. and author presentations.

The book fair, sponsored by the Memphis alumnae chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity, has become an annual fund-raising event for Literacy Mid-South and the fraternity's "Reading Is Key" program has put hundreds of books in the hands of at-risk children in Memphis.

For tickets and information on the book fair, go to, but act now. Tickets — $45 per person; $50 per person if you include the author meet-and-greet at 10 a.m. — will not be sold at the door, and Wednesday, January 30th, is your last day to buy them. For questions about the "Literacy Is Key" book fair, contact Hillery Efkeman at 901-756-7506 or write to

January 30th is also the date to welcome historian and author Joshua D. Rothman, who will lead a discussion at downtown's Cotton Museum (65 Union Ave.) at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and includes an author reception and tour of the museum's permanent collection.

Rothman, associate professor of history at the University of Alabama, will be discussing his latest book, Flush Times and Fever Dreams: A Story of Capitalism and Slavery in the Age of Jackson, which examines the search, famous in its day, for a thief accused of stealing slaves and the subsequent trial. But the book takes more into account, not the least of which: the cotton boom of the 1830s and what it reveals of the settlers, investors, and fortune hunters who descended on Mississippi, in what was then the frontier of the American Southwest.

For more information on Joshua Rothman's visit to Memphis' Cotton Museum, contact executive director Anna Mullins at 901-531-7826 or at

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