By the Book: Local artists to mark release of Lee's "Watchman"

Harper Lee is back, and the hoopla begins July 14 when her much-anticipated novel Go Set a Watchman goes on sale. It was written before To Kill a Mockingbird and features many of the same characters, 20 years later.

 

A grown-up Scout returns to Maycomb to visit her father, Atticus, and reflects on the Alabama burg that shaped her childhood. To honor the author, 24 local artists have interpreted To Kill a Mockingbird in a showing that will run from July 14-19 at the Book Tavern, 936 Broad St. An opening reception is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 14.

 

HOME-GROWN HERO. You’ve traveled on Jimmie Dyess Parkway, but how much do you know about the road’s namesake? Maj. Gen. Perry Smith has written a biography of Jimmie Dyess called Courage, Compassion, Marine: The Unique Story of Jimmie Dyess. (iUniverse, $17.95).

In 1928, Augusta native Dyess saved a woman from the surf in Sullivan’s Island and received the Carnegie Medal for civilian heroism.

Sixteen years later, the Marine lieutenant colonel went behind Japanese enemy lines to rescue four of his wounded comrades and was later felled by enemy machine gun fire.

Dyess was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his act of heroism and is the only American who’s received both the Carnegie Medal and the Medal of Honor.

Perry’s biography is available on Amazon and at Augusta Museum of History. All book profits go to the Jimmie Dyess Symposium.

Perry will speak about the biography at the Nancy Carson Branch Library in North Augusta at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 16.

 

LOCAL AUTHORS’ NEWS. Mice in the Miller Theater? Don’t call the exterminator; it’s just one very adorable fictional mouse. Levi Hill IV, the chairman of the Miller project, has written a children’s book called Miller’s Opening Night ($19.95) about a mouse living in an abandoned theater. Hill’s sister-in-law, Janie Hester, illustrated the book and all proceeds will support the campaign to save the Miller. Find it at Amazon.

• Congratulations to Applause arts columnist Charmain Zimmerman Brackett, who won Georgia Author of the Year for her children’s book Little Pearl’s Circus World. The book is based on the life of her great-grandmother Pearl Clark LaComa, who was a contortionist in M.L. Clark and Son’s Combined Shows. Brackett will do a story reading at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 18, at the Book Tavern and sign books from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 6 at Midtown Market. She’ll appear in the Aiken County Museum’s circus room at 11 a.m. Aug. 1.

 

HEALING POWERS OF WRITING. Feeling heavy-hearted over an illness? Studies show that creative writing can help release negative emotions and make the unbearable bearable. Write to Heal Creative Writing Program at Children’s Hospital of Georgia is not just for those dealing with health issues. It’s open to anyone who would like to deepen their understanding of themselves via creative writing. Family support coordinator Naomi Williams and Anna Harris, GRU assistant professor of creative writing, facilitate, and participants are provided with prompts. E-mail nawilliams@gru.edu for more information.

 

GOT LOCAL BOOK NEWS? SEND E-MAIL TO KARIN.GILLESPIE@GMAIL.COM.

 

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