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Lisa Howorth to Read From Her Book ‘Flying Shoes’


The Sarah Isom Center for women and gender studies with support from the M.F.A. Program in creative writing welcome students, faculty and the larger Oxford community to a reading by local writer, Lisa Howorth, who will read from her novel Flying Shoes.

The reading will be in Bondurant 204C at 5:30 p.m. on February 9. Lisa Howorth, who is the co-founder of Square Books which was named by Publishers Weekly as the 2013 Book Store of the Year, wrote this novel for 20 years on yellow legal pads.

The story is older than the time it took to write. When Howorth was a teenager in 1966 her nine-year-old stepbrother was molested and killed near their home in Bethesda. The Washington Post covered the crime on its front page but her brother’s killer was never found.

Last summer The Washington Post returned to the story, but this time it featured Lisa Howorth who wrote a fiction novel Flying Shoes on her brother’s unsolved death. In interviews she had said there was not a doubt what her debut novel would be about: what might have happened to her brother. She began writing after realizing that her brother became a cold case.

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An excerpt from Flying Shoes:

“There hadn’t been organized searches or milk cartons or Amber alerts or DNA in those days. Kids didn’t disappear and weren’t killed then. They weren’t sex objects. They didn’t get left to broil in parked cars and day-care vans; there wasn’t such a thing as day care. Newborns weren’t found in Dumpsters. Dumpsters didn’t even exist.”

The book’s protagonist is called from Mississippi to return to Virginia to face the tragedy again. The detectives needed her to look at new evidence, possibly due to an investigative journalist looking into the botched case. The story alludes to Oxford in its Mississippian setting.

An example of the Oxonian setting is her character L. B. who sits in his gold Dodge truck with a lit cigarette precariously stuck to his bottom lip. Readers could picture Larry Brown as the scene unfolds.

This event is free an open to public. For more information, visit sarahisomcenter.org. For assistance related to a disability for these or any events sponsored by the Isom Center, please contact Kevin at 662-915-5916 or isomctr@olemiss.edu.

Callie Daniels is a staff reporter for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com.

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