Books All Georgians Should Read

Authors of the Month: October

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Julia Franks and Mark Beaver

Julia Franks and Mark Beaver

Decatur Library Auditorium

May 4, 2016, 7:15p.m.

Georgia Center for the Book is pleased to welcome Julia Franks and Mark Beaver for a lively discussion of their recent publications. Over the Plain House Julia Franks It’s 1939, and the federal government has sent Virginia Furman, a USDA agent, into the North Carolina mountains to instruct families how to modernize their homes and farms. There she meets farm wife Irene Lambey, who is immediately drawn to the lady agent’s self-possession. Already, cracks are emerging in Irenie’s fragile marriage to Brodis, an ex-logger turned fundamentalist preacher: she has taken to night ramblings through the woods to escape her husband’s bed, storing strange keepsakes in a mountain crevice. To Brodis, these are all the signs that Irene tiptoeing through the dark in her billowing white nightshirt has become a witch. Suburban Gospel Mark Beaver Suburban Gospel offers more than a look inside Bible Belt suburbia, circa Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority’s tale of faith and flesh. Beaver invites us into a world filled with Daisy Duke fantasies and Prince posters, Nerf Hoops and Atari joysticks, raggedy Camaros and the neon light of strip malls. As much about the adolescent heart as the evangelical mind, the story explores similar emotional terrain as coming-of-age classics like Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life and Mary Karr’s Cherry. Suburban Gospel is a tale of growing up Baptist, all right, but also of just growing up.