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March 18, 2012

Book Smart

SCAD brings out big literary guns this spring

By Nancy Staab

Buzzy authors from novelist Lauren Groff (Arcadia) to memoirist Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors) Headline SCAD Atlanta’s Spring Writer Series

Arcadia novelist Lauren Groff and her book cover. Arcadia novelist Lauren Groff and her book cover.

The New York Times best-selling novelist Lauren Groff (The Monsters of Templeton), whose much-hyped new novel Arcadia examines a loss of innocence and idealism as a 70’s commune comes unraveled, opens SCAD’s Ivy Hall Writers Series with a splash on April 3, 6:30 PM, Ivy Hall.  (In a recent review by Janet Maslin of The New York Times, she refers to the book’s “transporting magic.” She also says “Lauren Groff’s “Arcadia” is so immersed in the life of a hippie commune that patchouli ought to waft off its pages.")

Author Andre Dubus III Author Andre Dubus III

Then sensationalistic, over-sharing memoirist Augusten Burroughs closes out the series with his hilariously titled, upcoming satire (to be released May, 2012) on self-help books: This Is How, Help for the Self: Proven Aid to Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterdom, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude and More. For Young and Old Alike on May 12, 6:30PM at SCAD Atlanta.

Bookended between these two literary powerhouses are three equally noteworthy authors. Andre Dubus III (son of famed writer Andre Dubus II) emerges from his father’s extraordinarily large literary shadow with his second book Townie, a memoir of his rough-and-tumble boyhood filled with violence on his way to becoming a man and a sometimes strained relationship with his divorced father. Townie was a New York Times bestseller and his first book, the novel House of Sand and Fog, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Dubus will lecture April 12, 6:30PM, at SCAD Atlanta.

Prolific author Carol Wallace (she’s penned 21 books) will speak and read from her most recent book, Leaving Van Gogh on April 26, 6:30 PM, at Ivy Hall. The historical novel attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding artist Van Gogh’s last days. You may recognize Wallace’s name from a previous book that she co-authored, To Marry an English Lord. It's a fascinating historical account of the more than 100 American heiresses from the Gilded Age who traded industrial wealth for English titles by crossing the pond to snag aristocrat husbands. One of these Americans, Cora Crawley the Countess of Grantham, inspired one of the characters in Julian Fellowes’ Downton Abbey. And we hear that Wallace already has a new historical novel in the can, titled Madame Monet.

Lastly, award-winning poet and author Sandra Beasley provides an empathetic, sometimes harrowing memoir and history of severe food allergies in Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life. Beasley will speak on May 12, 6:30PM at SCAD Atlanta.

Lectures are $10, unless noted. Following each lecture, a book signing is available with the purchase of a book. SCAD Atlanta is located at 1600 Peachtree Street. Ivy Hall is located at 179 Ponce de Leon Ave.

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