It's a solid week in Memphis for author signings, readings, presentations, and interviews, and to start the week right, begin on Sunday, October 13th, and with a proven talent for producing page-turners.
That's when Edgar Award-winning writer Stuart Woods will be at The Booksellers at Laurelwood (3 p.m.) to sign his latest Stone Barrington thriller, Doing Hard Time (Putnam), a book that makes it, according to the publisher, Woods' 53rd (you read that right, 53rd) novel. Line ticket required for the signing, but it's free with purchase of the book.
Tuesday the 15th is a triple lineup of Southern-themed titles and their authors. The Education of a Lifetime
(from the Oxford, Mississippi-based Nautilus Publishing Company) is the memoir of Robert Khayat, who knows not only football (on the college and professional gridirons) but what it takes to tackle traditions: As the 15th chancellor of Ole Miss, Khayat led the university's controversial decision to ban its Old South symbols and helped to raise not only the school's endowment but also its academic standing. Khayat will be in town on Tuesday to discuss and sign The Education of a Lifetime
at the Memphis Botanic Garden from 5:30 to 7 p.m. For more information, go to the website of Burke's Book Store
, which will also be hosting Memphian John Pritchard
for an in-store reading from and signing of his new novel, Sailing to Alluvium
(NewSouth Books) on Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. (Fans of character — and what a character — Junior Ray Loveblood of the Delta: He's back!)
After her winning debut in Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter
and after a followup, Yankee Doodle Dixie
, Memphis belle Leelee Satterfield is back too — and if you can't stand the heat, get out of Leelee's kitchen. Because that's where you'll find her: opening a restaurant in Memphis with her Yankee chef of a boyfriend, dodging her trouble-making ex-husband, and facing a trio of madcap girlfriends. Southern-fried? More like Southern as a Second Language
(Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press). Author (and Memphian) Lisa Patton will be at The Booksellers
to discuss and sign it on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Line ticket required, but it's free with purchase of the book.
On Tuesday too, another winning debut: Margaret Wrinkle's first novel, Wash (published earlier this year by Atlantic Monthly Press), a tale that takes readers from 19th-century slave-holding plantation society in Tennessee all the way to West Africa. The book won high praise from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. And on October 15th, Crosstown Arts (430 N. Cleveland) is hosting a reading, a conversation between the author and Ladrica Menson-Furr of the University of Memphis, and a book signing for Wrinkle from 6 to 8 p.m. On view as well: the author's photographs. For more information, go to Crosstown Arts.
Go to the University of Memphis to meet Pam Durban, novelist, short-story writer, and creative-writing professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Durban will be reading inside the University Center's River Room on Wednesday, October 16th, at 8 p.m. On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., she'll be on hand for an interview inside Patterson Hall, Room 448. Both events are free and open to the public, as are all events brought to you by the U of M's long-running River City Writers Series
"You can bet your last money, it's all gonna be a stone gas, honey!" — closing words from TV's Don Cornelius, host and the man behind Soul Train
. Which is right where journalist Ericka Blount Danois takes readers in her book Love, Peace, and Soul: Behind the Scenes of America's Favorite Dance Show
(Backbeat Books). Danois will be at the Stax Museum
on Saturday and expect to meet former chairman and owner of Stax Al Bell as well, because he wrote the book's foreword. Danois will be discussing Soul Train
— the show's performers and guests, its dancers, and, of course, the late Don Cornelius — on Saturday, October 19th, from 2 to 5 p.m. But in the meantime and to set the stage, reserve one hour, 22 minutes, and 25 seconds out of your coming workweek. Your tutorial in Soul Train
line-dancing is here
. And remember: "Jesus Is Waiting."