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Southern Lit Alliance is bringing back the FocusLit fundraiser as they work to encourage engaged and passionate readers and writers with their literary festivals, author lectures, writing contests for grades K-12, writing workshops, and writing groups in area jails.
This year’s fundraiser will be held on June 1, 2021, and will be a double feature, as New York Times bestselling author Jill McCorkle is interviewed by author Steve Yarbrough. The two will discuss McCorkle’s novel Hieroglyphics.
Steve Yarbrough is the author of The Unmade World, Sales from the Neighbors, The Realm of Last Chances, and other books. He’s the recipient of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, the California Book Award, the Richard Wright Award, and the Robert Penn Warren Award. He’s a member of the Fellowship of Southern Authors, a personal friend of Jill’s, and a fun speaker.
The event will include a pick-up meal from Public House Restaurant. Regular tickets are $65 per person, and include the virtual interview at 6:30 on Zoom, and a meal from Public House. The VIP tickets are $85 per person, and includes the virtual interview, the meal from Public House, a specialty cocktail from Public House, and a signed copy of the novel Hieroglyphics. As a bonus, book clubs or groups that purchase the most tickets will win a rooftop wine and cheese reception hosted by Southern Lit Alliance.
Please visit southernlitalliance.org/focuslit-2021 for more information and to register for this fun fundraiser that will help support the creative arts in Chattanooga.
About Jill McCorkle
Jill McCorkle has been described by The New York Times as “a born novelist.” Her first two novels came out shortly after she graduated from college, and since then, she has published six novels and four collections of short stories. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories several times, as well as The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Five of her books have been New York Times Notable books, and her novel, Life After Life, was a New York Times bestseller.
She has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Garden and Gun, The Atlantic, and other publications. She was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard, where she also chaired the department of creative writing. She is currently a faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars and is affiliated with the MFA program at North Carolina State University.
Lil and Frank married each other young, bonding over how they both lost a parent when they were children. Over time, their marriage grew and strengthened, with each still wishing for more understanding of the parents they’d lost prematurely. Now, years later, they’ve retired to North Carolina. There, Lil, determined to leave a history for their children, sifts through letters and notes and diary entries—perhaps revealing more secrets than Frank wants their children to know.
Meanwhile, Frank has become obsessed with what might have been left behind at the house he lived in as a boy on the outskirts of town, where a young single mother, Shelley, is just trying to raise her son with some sense of normalcy. Frank’s repeated visits to Shelley’s house begin to trigger memories of her own family, memories that she’d hoped to keep buried. Because, after all, not all parents are ones you wish to remember.
Hieroglyphics reveals the difficulty of ever really knowing the intentions and dreams and secrets of the people who raised you. In this novel, Jill McCorkle deconstructs and reconstructs what it means to be a father or a mother, and what it means to be a child piecing together the world around us, a child learning to make sense of the hieroglyphics of history and memory.
About Southern Lit Alliance
Southern Lit Alliance is a longstanding literary arts organization in Chattanooga, Tennessee, founded in 1952. Its mission is to utilize the incomparable power of literature to inspire, create, and uplift, delivering opportunities that encourage people to read and write. The organization engages audiences through innovative and interesting literary arts experiences and educational enrichment opportunities in local schools and underserved communities in Chattanooga.
For more information about Southern Lit Alliance, please visit www.southernlitalliance.org. Southern Lit Alliance is funded by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission and Arts Build.