Tennessee Williams Porch Play - Clarksdale, MS

Literary in Mississippi

“I discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it.” — Nobel Prize Winner, William Faulkner

William Faulkner is just one of the many literary giants whose love of literature began with a love for Mississippi. You can stroll upon his native soil at his home, Rowan Oaks, in Oxford and learn about his family roots. See the Mississippi that Tennessee Williams described as “the beauty spot of creation, a dark, wide spacious land that you can breathe in” by visiting his childhood home in Columbus. Then visit Eudora Welty’s home and gardens in the state capitol, Jackson, which are still just as they were when she would step out the door. These writers have given birth to a new generation of Mississippi literary heritage; from the master of legal thrillers, John Grisham, to the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner Donna Tartt and Natasha Trethewey, Poet Laureate of the United States in 2012. If you love literature, Mississippi’s literary heritage and the native soil invite you to explore the inspiration behind some of the world’s greatest writing. Follow the Southern Literary Trail through Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to visit the places that influenced well-known 20th century writers.

Mississippi Book Festival

Plans for the first Mississippi Book Festival, taking place in Jackson on 22nd August, are well underway and organisers have confirmed that this year’s festival line-up includes John Grisham, Greg Iles, Bill Ferris and Ellen Gilchrist – who are among more than 70 authors participating.

Holly Lange, Executive Director of the Mississippi Book Festival, said, “We are thrilled that John Grisham will be joining a great group of Mississippi authors in Mississippi’s inaugural Book Festival.  He has taken an active interest in the success of this event and plans on appearing at the festival throughout the day.  Because Mississippi is so rich with writers, we have assembled authors from a wide range of subjects that will appeal to every Mississippian.”

The Book Festival includes authors signing their books and covering topics such as history, short stories, poetry, civil rights, romance, sports & outdoors, children’s stories, biography, literary fiction, southern popular fiction, comics and the civil war.

The festival will conclude with a panel that includes Greg Iles, an early supporter of the event, whose new book, The Bone Tree, has received national critical acclaim.

John Evans, owner of Lemuria Books in Jackson, said “Mississippi’s literary contributions have enhanced our state and national culture. Our great writers are household names; many of their stories are our stories. But before great writers put pen to paper, they were first great readers.”

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