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‘Community Book Talks Lecture Series’ to Feature Curtis Wilkie on August 27

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Wilkie’s latest work — Assassins, Eccentrics, Politicians, and Other Persons of Interest — was released late last year.

On Thursday, August 27th, the 2015 Community Book Talks lecture series will present Overby Fellow and veteran journalist Curtis Wilkie at the Carnegie Public Library located at 114 Delta Avenue in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

“We are very pleased to bring Curtis Wilkie back to Clarksdale,” said Sarah Crisler-Ruskey, director of Carnegie Public Library. “He is definitely a favorite of ours. His talks are always filled with fascinating anecdotes and classic Southern storytelling.”

Wilkie was a journalist for nearly forty years — starting as a reporter for the Clarksdale Press Register and retiring as a correspondent with the Boston Globe. With the Globe, he covered eight presidential campaigns.

Since then, he has authored or co-authored numerous articles and four books. His book Dixie is perhaps his most celebrated work as it provides a first-person account of Mississippi’s civil rights struggle of the 1960s, including the desegregation riots at Ole Miss. His latest work — Assassins, Eccentrics, Politicians, and Other Persons of Interest — was released late last year to rave reviews and collects news dispatches and feature stories from a journalism career that began in 1963 and lasted until 2000.

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Wilkie’s book Dixie is perhaps his most celebrated work as it provides a first-person account of Mississippi’s civil rights struggle of the 1960s, including the desegregation riots at Ole Miss.

His other major works include The Fall of the House of Zeus and Arkansas Mischief.

Born in Greenville, Mississippi, Wilkie now splits his time between New Orleans and Oxford. He was appointed the first Overby Fellow with the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi in 2007.

His decades of work have made him popular with critics, writers and historians alike:

“Over the past four decades no reporter has critiqued the American South with such evocative sensitivity and bedrock honesty as Curtis Wilkie.” — historian Douglas Brinkley

“Curtis Wilkie is a legendary sculptor of heavy and true sentences that give us life alive… Through a very tough life as a leading reporter, he has remained fixed on his concerns for southern matters… A master writer of our times.” — author Barry Hannah

“Not since Willie Morris has anyone written so poignantly about the South.” — John Evans, Lemuria Books

“I can think of no one more qualified to write about the modern South than Curtis Wilkie.” — author Willie Morris

As always, the Community Book Talks reception begins at 5 p.m and includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres. The talk starts at 5:30 p.m. More information, visit the link here. 

“We’re very fortunate to be able bring such renowned authors to our wonderful little town on a regular basis,” said Jen Waller, director of CCHEC. “It’s a rare opportunity to meet and learn from these internationally-recognized talents.”

Clarksdale’s Community Book Talks lecture series is made possible in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi as well as generous local supporters. Anyone interested in sponsoring the series should contact Sarah Crisler-Ruskey at (662) 624-4461 or email sruskey@cplclarksdale.lib.ms.us.

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