STEPHEN SMITH: Maron Set to Come to Weymouth
Grab your red magic marker and circle Sunday, Sept. 7, on your calendar.
On that date, you'll want to show up at 3 p.m. at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities for the opening of the 2008-09 Sam Ragan Lecture Series.
Mystery writer Margaret Maron will be reading from her latest mystery -- her 23rd -- "Death's Half Acre." Following the reading, the audience will have ample opportunity to ask Maron questions concerning her craft. A reception hosted by the Women of Weymouth will follow the reading.
Since 1981, Maron has steadily ascended the ranks of American's best mystery writers. She is the author of 23 novels and two collections of short stories, and the winner of several major American awards for mysteries.
Her works are on the reading lists of various courses in contemporary Southern literature and have been translated into 15 languages. She has served as president of Sisters in Crime, the American Crime Writers League, and Mystery Writers of America.
A native Tar Heel, Maron still lives on her family's farm a few miles southeast of Raleigh, the setting for "Bootlegger's Daughter," which is numbered among the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century as selected by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.
In 2004, she received the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for best North Carolina novel of the year; in 2006, she was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. "Shooting at Loons," published in 1994, was set in Beaufort and Harkers Island. Historian David Cecelski called this novel "the first to convey fully the complex clash between traditional fishermen and coastal development. Maron writes as if she had lived on the coast her entire life."
Maron's books have examined the furniture market in High Point, development in the mountains, the pottery traditions of Seagrove, etc., but most center in her fictional Colleton County that floats somewhere south of Raleigh, north of Fayetteville, east of Sanford and west of Smithfield. Her latest novel, "Death's Half Acre," takes a jaundiced look at the area's population explosion.
Maron's books, which will be available for purchase and signing at the reading (hey, it's almost Christmas!), have made several national bestseller lists, including The Washington Post and The New York Times.
While you've got the magic marker out, circle Sunday, Nov. 16. Carole Boston Weatherford will read from her books on jazz. Bob Murphy, Southern Pines jazz pianist supreme, will accompany Weatherford.
Weatherford is the award-winning author of numerous picture books for children, including "The Sound That Jazz Makes," an NAACP Image Award finalist; "Juneteenth Jamboree," which appears on the Black Books Galore! list of Best Books for Girls; and "Grandma and Me," a Black Issues Book Review Children's Paperback Best.
Her poetry is collected in "The Tar Baby on the Soapbox." The prizewinning volume, "The Tan Chanteuse," appears in "The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury" anthology. Her poems have also appeared in numerous literary journals including: Calyx, Greensboro Review, Callaloo and African-American Review.
She holds a master's degree in fine arts in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master's degree in publications design from the University of Baltimore.
For more information about the Sam Ragan Lecture Series, call (910) 692-6261. Better still, become a member of the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities.
Contact Stephen Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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