If you want to be in on the cool kids” conversations this fall, brush up on your Eudora Welty.
Welty”s book “The Optimist”s Daughter” was selected as the subject of Mississippi State University”s 2011 Maroon Edition. The program, in its third year, selects a book for students and faculty to read over the summer before holding a series of events in the fall to discuss and explore the book, all aimed at creating common ground to bring people together in conversation.
Maroon Edition Chair Linda Morse said several members of the MSU English Department will structure lessons and programs around the book, but the big event will take place Sept. 29 when a handful of Welty”s friends and family join literary scholars at MSU for a program remembering the Pulitzer Prize-winning author. In attendance will be Welty”s niece, Mary Alice White; Welty”s biographer, Dr. Suzanne Mars of Millsaps College; literary scholar and MSU English professor emeritus Dr. Noel Polk; Welty”s friend “Mac” McKelva Poe, on whom Welty based a character in “The Optimist”s Daughter” and several more guests. Activities will also include a tour of Welty”s home and an exhibit of her photography.
“This is a great opportunity for incoming freshmen coming to campus for the first time to have a common project, reading a literary classic,” said MSU President Dr. Mark Keenum Wednesday during the Maroon Edition kickoff event at the MSU library. “It”s a great way to get to know other people, share thoughts and connect students immediately.”
“This is going to be fun. It”s just a shame we have to wait all summer,” said Polk.
Keenum”s wife, Rhonda Keenum, will lead a sister program for children using Welty”s children”s book “The Shoe Bird.”
Jason Browne was previously a reporter for The Dispatch.
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