On August 18th Fisk University announced that Dr. Karida Brown, pictured above, the author of Gone Home: Race and Roots through Appalachia has accepted a one-year appointment to be the inaugural Diane Nash Descendants of the Emancipation Chair at its John Lewis Center for Social Justice. She has a Masters from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate from Brown University and teaches at UCLA. She also serves as the Director of Racial Equity and Action for the Los Angeles Lakers.
My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson – scheduled for publication on October 5th - is one of three finalists for the 2021 Kirkus Prize in fiction. It is also on Time magazine’s list of its 34 most anticipated books of Fall, 2021and the even dozen that Esquire deems Best Books of Fall 2021and on Shonbdaland’s Your Fall 2021 Reading List and The St. Louis Post Dispatch’s 50 all Books You Should Consider Reading. The August 9 Publishers Weekly gave My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson a special boxed one-third of a page review concluding, “This incandescent work speaks not just to the moment, but to history.”
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi was one of the six novels on the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist.
Country Living’s 26 Best New Books. for This Fall includes The Ballad of Laurel Springs, due out on October 19th, These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham Grant, due out October 26th, In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner, and The Speckled Beauty by Rick Bragg.
Deep South magazine’s Fall/Winter Reading List 2021-22 includes The Ballad of Laurel Springs by Janet Beard due out October 19th, Old Fires by Josh Patrick Sheridan and These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham Grant, both due out October 26th, and A Fire in the Night by Christopher Swann
Springer Mountain: Meditations on Killing and Eating by Wyatt Williams and A Fire in the Night by Christopher Swann made The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s 10 Must Read Southern Books This Fall
Road Out of Winter by Alison Stine, due out October 26, made Good Housekeeping’s 25 Fall Books You Have to Read This Season.
The Taking of Jemima Boone by Matthew Pearl made The St. Louis Post Dispatch’s 50 all Books You Should Consider Reading
Kirkus’s 150 Most Anticipated Fall Books includes Bessie Smith: A Poet’s Biography of a Blues Legend by Jackie Kay, due out on September 28th.
The 2021 Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice is awarded to Kiki Petrosino for her newest poetry collection White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia, published by Sarabande Books in 2020. Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky, has also chosen Petrosino’s book as their residency book in common.
Barbara Atkeson Smith (1929-2021) died. For 37 years she was an English professor at Alderson-Broaddus College in Phillippi, W.V. and for 20 years chair of their Division of Humanities. She was the author of both fiction and non-fiction books and active in regional writing conferences and workshops.