STEPHEN SMITH: Wallace Comes to Weymouth
Mark your calendar -- Sunday, March 30, at 3 p.m. at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities -- for a reading by Daniel Wallace, author of "Big Fish."
If you know Wallace's work, you'll come early and grab a good seat. If you're unfamiliar with his four novels -- "Mr. Sebastian and The Negro Magician" (2006), "Big Fish" (1998), "Ray in Reverse" (2000) and "The Watermelon King" (2003) -- you'll want to pick up copies at The Country Bookshop or the library and give him a careful read. He's the real deal. And if you can't make it to the bookshop or the library, here's a passage from "Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician" to wet your whistle:
"Jeremiah Mosgrove -- the proprietor of Jeremiah Mosgrove's Chinese Circus -- hired Henry Walker four years ago, at the halfway point of the 20th century, hired him almost as soon as he'd walked into Jeremiah's office: he needed a magician. He hadn't had a magician in the show for going on a year, not since Rupert Cavendish. Sir Rupert Cavendish was his full name, and he'd been a skilled prestidigitator, that is until he lost most of his digits in a thresher. For a while they kept him on as a guesser of weight and age. But he always went high on both counts, and soon people began to avoid him. Last Jeremiah heard he'd found work at a poultry farm, gutting chickens. Since then, nothing. And what was a circus without magic? You could hardly call it a circus at all."
Wallace's "Big Fish" has been translated into 21 languages, "The Watermelon King" into 11, and "Ray in Reverse" into two. In 2003, Columbia Pictures released the film version of "Big Fish," adapted by John August and directed by Tim Burton. His illustrated children's book for adults, "O Great Rosenfeld!" was released in France in 2006, and the soundtrack to the book, written and performed by Falcon, can be heard at the Web site www.ogreatrosenfeld.com.
His novels, stories and essays are taught in classrooms across the country, and his illustrations have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Italian Vanity Fair and many other publications. His short stories have been widely published and anthologize, and he has taught at the University of North Carolina, UNC-G, UNC-W, Bread Loaf and Sewanee.
And while you're marking down the date for Wallace's reading, mark Sunday, Sept. 7, for a reading by Margaret Maron, who will kick off the season's Sam Ragan Lecture Series at the Weymouth Center.
Maron's books have been nominated for every major award in the American mystery field for which they are eligible. In 1993, "Bootlegger's Daughter" won the Edgar Allan Poe Award and the Anthony Award for Best Mystery Novel of 1992, the Agatha Award for Best Traditional Novel, and the Macavity for Best Novel -- the first time one novel has ever won all four awards. Maron was the Guest of Honor at Malice Domestic XIII, held May 4-6, 2001, in Arlington, Va. She won an unprecedented fourth Agatha Award for "Storm Track."
Maron's works have been translated into 15 languages and are on the reading lists of various courses in contemporary Southern literature. She is a founding member of Sisters in Crime and served as its third president, and she's also a past president of the American Crime Writers League, and past president of Mystery Writers of America.
Contact Stephen Smith at email@example.com.
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