Florida Authors in the Spotlight with Live Events from Midtown Reader
The Tallahassee Midtown Reader Bookstore, 1123 Thomasville Road, hosts several author events in September. Here’s what’s coming. Learn more about midtownreader.com.
“Matrix”, Wednesday, September 8, 7 p.m., Tallahassee Woman’s Club, 1513 Cristobal Drive
Driven from the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too rude and rude for marriage or court life, Marie de France, 17, was sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey, her nuns on the on the verge of starvation and disease.
As sensitive to the sacred as to the profane, Matrix brings together currents of violence, sensuality and religious ecstasy in a fascinating portrait of a consuming passion, an aberrant faith and a woman through and around whom the story moves. Lauren Groff’s new novel, her first since “Fates and Furies”, is a provocative and timely exploration of the raw power of female creativity in a corrupt world.
Lauren Groff is a two-time National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author of the novels “Monsters of Templeton”, “Arcadia” and “Fates and Furies”, and of the short stories “Delicate Edible Birds” and “Florida.” She won the Story Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Groff’s work appears regularly in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and elsewhere, and she was named one of Granta’s 2017 Best Young American Novelists.
“Ride South Until the Sawgrass”, Thursday, September 9, 7 p.m. In store (Midtown Reader, 1123 Thomasville Road)
From the moment Nat Quinto and his wife Lucy set foot in Florida territory, they can’t seem to avoid Jake Primrose, a rancher whose plans to increase his already plentiful wealth trap everyone around him.
Between Primrose’s greed and the brutal conflicts brewing in the land around them, will the Quinto family be able to stay true to themselves?
In four tales, the paths of the Primrose and Quinto families inevitably cross, separate and intertwine in this first virtuoso film that takes place during the tumultuous years of the Second Seminole War of the Florida Territory and the beginning of the State.
James Chapin is a writer from Florida. His work has appeared in Slate, Image Journal, Catapult, the Marginalia chain of Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Tampa Bay Times. He is currently based in Athens, Georgia, where he is a candidate for a Master of Science in Forestry from the University of Georgia.
Heidi Tyline King
“Saving American Beach”, Saturday, September 11, 11 am Kidtown in-store event
A picture book biography of MaVynee Betsch, an African-American opera singer turned environmentalist and the legacy she has preserved.
MaVynee loved going to the beach. But in Jim Crow’s day, she couldn’t just go to just any beach – most of Jacksonville’s beaches were white only. Knowing that something needs to be done, her grandfather bought a beach that African American families could enjoy without remembering they were second class citizens; he called it American Beach.
Artists like Zora Neale Hurston and Ray Charles have vacationed on its sunny shores. It was here that MaVynee was first inspired to sing, later propelling her to become a widely acclaimed opera singer who performed regularly on an international stage. But her first love will always be American Beach.
After the Civil Rights Act disintegrated public places, there was no longer a need for a place like American Beach, and it slowly fell into disuse. MaVynee remembered how important American Beach was to her family and so many others. Determined to preserve this integral part of American history, she began her second act as an activist and environmentalist, ultimately saving the place she had always been most at home.
Heidi Tyline King has written many adult books, but this is her first children’s book. She lives in Tallahassee.
“A shot in the moonlight.” Held online via Zoom.
“A Shot in the Moonlight” tells the true story of George Dinning, a freed slave who was wrongly convicted of murder after defending himself against a white mob, later winning damages against them in court with the help of a Confederate war hero turned lawyer.
Ben Montgomery is a former corporate reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and founder of the Narrative Journalism website Gangrey.com. In 2010, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting and won the Dart Prize and the Casey Medal for a series called “For Their Own Good,” on abuse at Florida’s oldest reform school. He lives in Tampa with his children. He is the author of “The Man Who Walked Backwards”, “The Leper Spy” and “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk”.
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