One City, One Story Pasadena
Mudbound: A look at Freedom and Entrapment in Rural Mississippi
Friday, March 25, 2011
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Baxter Lecture Hall, Building 77, California Institute of Technology
The Friends of Caltech Libraries invite you to attend a conversation with Mudbound author, Hillary Jordan, and Caltech Professors, Morgan Kousser (History and Social Science) and Christopher Hunter (English).
Join in the discussion
of the Pasadena
Public Library's 2011
One City, One Story
post-WWII world where
Jim Crow racism and the
slippery Delta mud serve in
tandem, to ensnare the minds
of those who work the land. Book signing will follow the event.
Jordan's prize winning debut novel tells the story of two families and their struggles in post World War II Mississippi as the forces of change and resistance collide with terrible consequences. City-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta farm - a place she finds foreign and frightening. When it rains, the waters rise up and swallow the bridge to town, stranding the family in a sea of mud. In the midst of the McAllan's struggles, two celebrated soldiers of World War II return home to the Delta. Jamie McAllan is everything his older brother Henry is not: charming, handsome, and sensitive to Laura's plight, but also haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black tenant farmers who live on the McAllan farm, comes home from fighting the Nazis with the shine of a war hero, only to face far more personal - and dangerous - battles against the ingrained bigotry of his own countrymen. It is the unlikely friendship of these two brothers-in-arms, and the passions they arouse in others, that drive this powerful debut novel.
Hillary Jordan, Author of Mudbound
"Hillary Jordan writes with the force of a Delta storm." - Barbara Kingsolver
Hillary Jordan is a novelist whose authentic and earthy prose is expected to echo for years to come. Her debut novel Mudbound (Algonquin Books, 2008) received the 2006 Bellwether Prize for Fiction, a prize founded by Barbara Kingsolver to reward books of conscience, social responsibility, and literary merit, as well as the 2009 Alex Award from the American Library Association and was named one of the Ten Best Debut Novels of the Decade by Paste Magazine. Released to instant critical acclaim, Mudbound was the NAIBA (New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association) Fiction Book of the Year, a Borders Original Voices selection, a Book Sense pick, and one of twelve New Voices of 2008 chosen by Waterstone's UK. It was a Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, called a "powerful firestorm of a first novel", and Publishers Weekly wrote that Mudbound "carries echoes of As I Lay Dying", hailing the book as "a superbly rendered depiction of the fury and terror wrought by racism." Her next novel, Red, is forthcoming from Algonquin.
Jordan grew up in Texas and Oklahoma. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, and a BA in English and Political Science from Wellesley College. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals, including StoryQuarterly and The Carolina Quarterly. She lives in New York.
All events are open to the community.
If indicated, please RSVP by contacting the Friends Coordinator at (626) 395-6411 or as indicated in the event information.