Literature

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. 

 


In Search Of Flannery O'Connor's Peacocks

Jun 25, 2019
Marianna Bacallao / GPB

Once you turn onto the dirt road leading up to Andalusia, it’s easy to forget that you’re in a college town and not a rural 1950s farmland.

Flannery O’Connor’s historic home appears almost exactly as it did when she lived in Milledgeville, with a notable exception: the writer’s famous aviary, which once housed more than 40 peacocks, has been whittled down to just two of the colorful birds and moved to the opposite end of the backyard.

This month, researchers broke ground on an archaeological dig at Andalusia, hoping to find the exact location of O’Connor’s peacock pens.


© Maira Kalman, courtesy of Julie Saul Gallery, New York.

Maira Kalman is perhaps best known by adults for the now iconic "New Yorkistan" and other covers for The New Yorker, or a dozen books including And the Pursuit of Happiness and The Principles of Uncertainty. Kids, on the other hand, know her better for the 18 picture books she's written and illustrated.

Kalman's picture books for children are the inspiration for an exhibition opening this week at the High Museum of Art. It's called The Pursuit of Everything. One of her books, Max Makes a Millionis also being adapted for the stage. Kalman is in town for the play's world premiere at the Alliance Theatre and the exhibition's opening this weekend, but first, she joined On Second Thought from New York.


Dyana Bagby / Charis Books

E.R. Anderson is the executive director of Charis Circle, the nonprofit programming arm of feminist bookstore Charis Books and More in Atlanta. Anderson stopped by "On Second Thought" to share more choices for our "Southern Reading List" series in which authors and readers share books that define and reflect the South.

Anderson highlighted Kiese Laymon's "Heavy: An American Memoir," which describes Laymon's relationships with trauma, toxic masculinity and his own family.


David Woolf / Theatrical Outfit

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." That's the line that opens Jane Austen's famed literary classic "Pride and Prejudice." It is also a truth universally acknowledged that the novel still captures people's hearts hundreds of years after its publication.

A new stage adaptation, "Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley," picks up two years after the novel's conclusion. The play is currently running at Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta.

Director Carolyn Cook, along with actors Jasmine Thomas and Jeanette Illidge, joined "On Second Thought" to discuss their first Austen encounters and the play's themes of community, family and romance.

From favorite books to superhero inspirations, we discussed the pop culture that shapes our understanding of self and the world around us.

We spoke to GPB hosts Bill Nigut and Emily Jones about their favorite books from "The Great American Read" series.

We also heard from "Black Lightning" actors Nafessa Williams and Marvin Jones about their roles on the show. The second season is currently filming in Atlanta and airing on The CW.


Reading as children and adults shape our sense of self and the world around us. GPB is exploring the country's 100 most-loved novels with the series "The Great American Read."

 

We spoke to GPB hosts Bill Nigut and Emily Jones about their favorite books ahead of the winning selection's reveal on Oct. 23.

 


PBS/GPB

The Great American Read has started a national conversation about America's favorite books. For the PBS series, you are invited to join in — and vote —  for your favorite. GPB has designed a quiz that reveals which fictional character you most resemble.


 

On Second Thought For Thursday, June 7, 2018

Jun 7, 2018
GPB

Jason Reynolds didn't get through a whole book until he was 17. He's now a bestselling author, and he's trying to change the way young people feel about reading. Inspired by hip-hop, Reynolds now writes books to get young people to excited about reading. He has various awards to his name, including an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teen and a National Book Award finalist designation for his book "Ghost."