• McSweeney’s Winter Tour comes to Malaprop’s on Friday, Feb. 8. Started in 1998 by Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, the initial literary journal only published work that had previously been rejected by other lit journals. Needless to say, it was a phenomenon with disgruntled writers everywhere. Now also a publishing house, McSweeney’s is responsible for launching the careers of young writers as well as publishing the works of established names such as Joyce Carol Oates. (The New York McSweeney’s store even has a house band, One Ring Zero.) Recently, the company’s distribution was taken over by Perseus Books to offset backruptcy losses. Still, the show must go on.
So, some faces from the still-popular publisher are currently on tour. On the Asheville stop, managing editor Eli Horowitz, and contributors John Brandon (author of Arkansas), literary prodigy Brett Loudermilk and Davy Rothbart (of Found Magazine) will read from various works. The bookstore promises a stock of Found Magazine, Wholphin DVDs, Believer magazines, and McSweeney’s Quarterly Concerns.
7 p.m., free. Info: 254-6734.
• Rita Mae Brown’s Malaprop’s reader (slated for last Tuesday, Jan. 29) has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 19. This is still a ticketed event; one ticket is complimentary with each purchase of a Rita Mae Brown book. To learn more about the event and read a review of Brown’s most recent mystery, The Purrfect Murder, click here.
• New Southern literary publisher, Bressler Scoggins Literary Management recently opened in Greensboro, N.C., and is accepting manuscript submissions in the genres of romance, commercial fiction, supernatural, Southern lit, mystery, fantasy, YA, literary fiction, women’s motivational and more.
• Local author Russell B. Hilliard, Sr., recently completed his new book, Willa the Gorilla & Me, to be published by The Story Words. The story evolved from Hilliard’s hospital stay, where he was gifted a large, stuffed gorilla toy by an Ecuadorian family. The toy became, for the author, a symbol of love and from it he drew much-needed healing. It took two years for the story of Willa the Gorilla to make the transition to book form, but the completed work — a bilingual endeavor — deals with both children with cancer and mountain gorillas facing extinction.
• Be my friend (or someone else’s) on Good Reads. If you’ve yet to discover this on line community for book enthusiasts, now’s the perfect time. The web site turns readers into literary experts — post reviews, learn about new books and link with other readers who share similar tastes in authors, subject matter and writing style. Oh, and if you do want to be my virtual reading buddy, click here.