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Milkweed Editions

Each year, The Georgia Writers Hall of Fame inducts new members to its growing list of authors who have made significant literary contributions to the state. This year’s inductees – John T. Edge, A. E. Stallings, and Julia Collier Harris – will all be celebrated at the University of Georgia Special Collections Library in Athens on Nov. 17.

Author Janisse Ray was inducted to the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2015. Her expansive body of creative works range from nonfiction to poetry, and her memoir, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, came out with its 15th anniversary edition last year.


Heidi Ross

Singer-songwriter Allison Moorer has recently released her 11th album, along with a companion memoir. They are both called Blood.

They tell a story she's avoided talking about directly throughout her career. When Allison was 14 years old, her father killed her mother — and then himself — leaving Moorer and her sister, the singer Shelby Lynne, orphans.


Courtesy of Counterpoint Press

Ava King is a newly divorced mother of a teenage son when she moves into her grandmother’s posh New Orleans home. Ava is the descendant of slaves, grandma Martha is about as WASP-y as they come, and their connected pasts are one of the plot twists in The Revisioners, a new novel by National Book Award finalist Margaret Wilkerson Sexton.

There is some magic in The Revisioners, but it’s less fantasy than testament to intergenerational bonds — in this case between Ava and her great-great-great grandmother, born enslaved on a Louisiana plantation.

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton joined On Second Thought to unpack her vision for The Revisioners, and her aim to look deeper at the power passed down through generations of African American families.


Michael Adno

Zora Neale Hurston's novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is a staple on high school and college reading lists. Published in 1937, it could have easily disappeared into obscurity if it wasn't for a young Georgia writer named Alice Walker


John Amis / AP

The town of Eatonton, Georgia, will honor one of its own this weekend: prolific poet, Pulitzer prize winning novelist and activist Alice Walker. The Georgia Writers Museum will celebrate Walker's 75th birthday with a now sold-out day of festivities.

 

One highlight at Saturday's celebration is a conversation with Walker and University of Georgia professor Valerie Boyd. Boyd is the curator and editor of a forthcoming collection of Walker's journals. Boyd spoke with On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott about the life and legacy of Walker. 

 


Author and New York Times Columnist David Brooks speaking with Bill Nigut about his new book 'The Second Mountain.'
GPB

On this edition of Political Rewind, David Brooks is one of The New York Times most widely read and respected opinion writers. He’s a familiar presence on public television and radio and his books routinely become best sellers. So why did he wake up one morning and realize something vital was missing in his life? He decided he lacked purpose and connection and that we as a society were similarly afflicted.


Leighton Rowell / GPB

Whether you go yellow or white, sweet or savory, grits are a Southern food staple now popping up on menus all over the country.

Food writer Erin Byers Murray goes deep in Grits: A Cultural and Culinary Journey Through the South, talking with growers, millers and chefs to understand the origins and evolution of grits. Along the way, she examines how race, gender and politics simmer in the significance of grits.


Courtesy of Hub City Press

In the late 19th Century, Lulu Hurst transfixed audiences as the "Georgia Wonder." An electrical storm supposedly gave the teenager supernatural powers to catapult grown men from chairs. She performed on stages from Cedartown, Georgia, to the East Coast and Midwest.

Hurst appeared in front of members of congress and government scientists. She was tested by Alexander Graham Bell, the faculty at Mercer University and the Medical College of Georgia - all baffled by mysterious force of the "electric maid."


Courtesy YouTube

Jackie K. Cooper is a retiree who's practiced law, served in the U.S. Air Force and written seven books. The 77-year-old can now add another title to his enviable resume: YouTube sensation. Cooper has reviewed movies, books and television shows on his YouTube page for the past 12 years.

He joined On Second Thought on the line from Perry, Georgia, to explain how he went from 136 to 150,000 subscribers in less than one month on YouTube. 


Last week, the governing body of the United Methodist Church voted to uphold a ban on same-sex marriage and openly gay clergy.  The “Traditional Plan” won by a narrow margin at the annual meeting of the General Conference.  It defeated the “One Church Plan,” which would have allowed local congregations to make their own decisions on LGBT issues.

Dean of the Emory’s Candler School of Theology, Jan Love, was at the conference.  The school is one of thirteen Methodist seminaries in the country. During “On Second Thought,” Dean Love explored the implications of the vote here in Georgia.

 


photo credit, Josh Luxenberg/Twitter

If asked about the "Plessy v. Ferguson" case, many Americans might connect the case to racial segregation. Far fewer would know the name Homer Plessy or what happened after he was arrested for refusing to leave a whites-only railway car in New Orleans the summer of 1892. 

Author and "Washington Post" editor Steve Luxenberg discovered the act of protest was decades in the making. Luxenberg joined "On Second Thought" and explained how Plessy, a fair-skinned man of African descent, was the perfect plant to challenge the constitutionality of separate rail cars in a case that made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896.


CollageMaker / NPR

Well-known author, David Sedaris, is  a pioneer, who was publicly recognized in 1992 when National Public Radio broadcast his essay "SantaLand Diaries".  Ten books later, he’s a best-selling author who draws thousands of fans to his public readings.


If some of history's greatest artists could go back in time and redo their work, would they? Screenwriter Karen Hall has spent the last 20 years agonizing over her masterpiece novel, “Dark Debts,” first published in 1996. It’s the story of the devil tormenting a Georgia family and it was an instant success when it came out.

Matthew Jordan Smith / Courtesy of Penguin Group USA

Author Terry McMillian uses a familiar creative device to help many of her female characters face their fears: reinvention. We saw that play out in her New York Times bestseller "Waiting to Exhale,” and we see it again in her latest novel, "I Almost Forgot About You." McMillian is in Atlanta this week for a booktalk and signing, and she tells about her writing process.