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Thu, Nov 12


Online Event via Zoom

Nov 2020 Book Program

Welcome back Professor Pearl McHaney to discuss Georgia's Delia Owens -- zoologist, Africa pioneer, and author of best-selling memoirs and a stellar debut of Southern literature.

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Nov 2020 Book Program
Nov 2020 Book Program

Time & Location

Nov 12, 2020, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM EST

Online Event via Zoom

About The Event

The Speaker, the Author, and the Book 

In this Book Program, Professor Pearl McHaney is presenting a Mini Seminar on Georgia author Delia Owens, featuring the phenomenal Southern novel, Where the Crawdads Sing

Dr. Pearl McHaney is newly retired this past May. She has been a leading scholar at Georgia State University for many years -- as a Ph.D. recipient, an associate dean, and an admired leader of the faculty, including her service as the Kenneth M. England Professor of Southern Literature.  In 2017, she received a Governor's Award for the Arts and Humanities, recognizing her outstanding work in that field. Dr. McHaney has authored or edited seven books and is a world-renowned scholar of the author Eudora Welty.  She approaches contemporary American prose and poetry from an American Studies point of view.  The cultural contexts revealed through art, music, history, and biography inform her teaching. This is Pearl McHaney's third address to our group, with previous appearances in January 2012 and May 2017.

The Author -- Delia Owens is a Georgia native and University of Georgia graduate in Zoology, who also holds a Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from the University of California in Davis. After college, she and her then husband Mark went straight from Athens to Africa:  they lived in isolation with wild animals, clashed with African governments, and authored three best-selling memoirs.  Now at age 70, Delia Owens is celebrated as a debut novelist of a phenomenal best seller. The lyrical prose and literary themes of the novel have their roots in Owens' Georgia childhood community and her African isolation. Her novel is dedicated to three female friends she has cherished since second grade. Owens is now an Idaho resident, living once more in the solitude of the wilderness, itself an inspiration for her.

Read more about Delia Owens at

The Book -- Where the Crawdads Sing is a lyrical evocation of the Southern marshland in a coming of age story blended with a murder mystery. This debut novel is a literary sensation and a publishing phenomenon. The story about "The Marsh Girl," a young girl abandoned by her family, was chosen by Reese Witherspoon as a book pick shortly after its August 2018 publication. Crawdads struck an immediate and continuing chord with readers. Publishers Weekly has reported that it "took the Triple Crown" in 2019, selling more print, audio, and e-book copies than any other adult title, and "blowing away the combined print sales of new novels by John Grisham, Margaret Atwood and Stephen King.”  

Now into Fall 2020, Crawdads  -- a number one bestseller for more than 30 nonconsecutive weeks -- has spent over 100 weeks in the top ten of the New York Times best seller list, surpassing 6 million copies sold.  A film adaptation is in pre-production, with Oscar nominee Lucy Alibar (Beasts of the Southern Wild) named as the screenplay writer, working with Delia Owens.


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