By the Book: Paine College to celebrate Frank Yerby

There are best-selling authors, and there are mega best-selling authors. Native son Frank Yerby belongs to the latter category. Over the course of his lifetime, eager buyers snatched up more than 55 million copies of his novels.

 

Before he became a literary superstar he went to high school in Augusta at Haines Normal Institute (now Lucy C. Laney High School) and graduated from Paine College in 1937. He went on to write more than 30 novels, including his first, The Foxes of Harrow, which was made into Oscar-nominated film.

Paine College will be celebrating Yerby's work during its Evelyn G. Etheridge Conference on the Harlem Renaissance from Nov. 2-4. Special events will include a visual arts exhibition and book fair, author book signing, and a community festival that will highlight various student and community groups. For a schedule of events, visit www.paine.edu/events/harlem/harlemdefault.aspx.

Hungry for a poetry reading? Rick Mulkey, the author of Ravenous: New & Selected Poems will be on Augusta University's Summerville campus on Nov. 3. He'll present a craft lecture from 4 to 5:15 p.m. and will read at 5:30 p.m. Both events are free and will take place in the Butler Room of the Jaguar Student Activity Center.

Local Author News

When Augusta Chronicle columnist Charmain Z. Brackett isn't covering art, she's plotting murders. Her latest release, Murder En Pointe, the second in a series, is about an Augusta florist who delivers flowers to a traveling ballet company, only to find the prima donna dead. Brackett will read excerpts and sign copies of her newest book at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Book Tavern.

Usually, writers have to seek out publishers, but every once in a great while, a novel becomes so popular the reverse occurs and a publisher seeks out a writer. That's what happened to Augusta novelist Jo Ann Appleton, who writes under the pen name, J.A. Stone. Two years ago she self-published her debut novel Life Unexpected, and it sold so well that Lake Union Publishing offered Appleton a contract. The novel is about a widow who rekindles a romance with an old childhood friend and finds herself questioning her workaholic lifestyle.

Several years ago, I wrote an article for The New York Times called "A Master's in Chick Lit," which addressed the topic of literary snobbery. The article went viral, and I received so many supportive emails I decided to write a novel that addressed the divide between literary and genre fiction. The result is Love Literary Style, a romantic comedy about an emotionally stunted literary writer who falls in love with a vivacious romance writer. I'll be the featured author at Midtown Market's First Thursday on Kings Way on Nov. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Do you have local literary news? Email it to karin.gillespie@gmail.com. By the Book is published monthly on last Sundays.

 

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