“The Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, Mississippi” is a newly published book that has been a hot topic of conversation among many in the Natchez community. Richard Grant, the book’s author, is also responsible for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize award winner and New York Times bestseller “Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta.”
Reviews for the “Deepest South of All” have been fabulous. Officially classified as part history and part travelogue, Publishers Weekly starred review describes the book as “[An] entertaining and informative travelogue…Readers will be enthralled by Grant’s lively prose and the colorful contradictions of this unique and haunted place.”
Kirkus Review has this to say, “This richly layered book offers a multifaceted view of the culture and history of an American city that, in its history, reveals the roots of the racial conflicts that continue to haunt the American psyche. An entertaining and thought-provoking memoir and sociological portrait.”
Whether you love or hate the book and agree or disagree with the reviews, everyone who has read it can agree on one thing, there is much to discuss about the contents of “The Deepest South of All.” Are the stories true? Is Natchez portrayed fairly? How will the book affect Natchez tourism? What about the city’s civil rights history and how Ibrahima’s story is set against the current call for attention to racial injustice in our country?
If you would you like to discuss these questions and more, or share your own insights, The Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration and The Carolyn Vance Smith Natchez Literary Research Center in the Co-Lin Natchez Campus library are providing that opportunity. We are inviting you to join our special book club to delve into the many facets of Natchez covered in “The Deepest South of All.”
At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, local rock star historian Jim Wiggins will serve as moderator for the first segment of our two-part Virtual Book Club Series via Zoom. You will have the opportunity, as time allows, to interact with other readers eagerly wanting to discuss the book. For the second part of the series one-week later at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, Wiggins will virtually sit down with Richard Grant and share the book club’s questions and comments, which will be streamed for all participants.
The Virtual Book Club Series is free; however, “seating” is limited so pre-registration is required. You can register by email at NLCC@colin.edu or call 601-446-1104.
Richard Grant has also graciously agreed to personalize bookplates that can be inserted into your copy of “The Deepest South of All.” A donation of $5 to the NLCC covering expenses would be appreciated. To order your plate, simply contact email@example.com or 601-446-1104. Registration for the book club is not necessary to order a bookplate.
We do expect the event to fill quickly so please register soon to join your fellow readers for our special Virtual Book Club Series featuring “The Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, Mississippi.”
Beth Richard is library director at Copiah-Lincoln Community College.