Dori Sanders’s Writings — February is Black History Month (also known as African American History Month), which makes this a fitting time to celebrate the writings of Dori Sanders, one of the Charlotte-area’s most influential African American authors. Born just south of Charlotte in York County, South Carolina, Sanders has spent the majority of her life growing and selling peaches on land that her family has owned since 1915. Although Sanders sees herself primarily as a peach farmer, she has written three notable books: Clover, a children’s novel published in 1990; Her Own Place, a novel for adults published in 1993; and Dori Sanders’ Country Cooking: Recipes and Stories from the Family Farm Stand, published in 1995.
The growing and preparation of food figures prominently in all three of Sanders’s books, but in Clover food takes on added significance. In this novel, food functions as a nonverbal language. The characters use food to communicate their feelings toward each other. Ten-year-old Clover Hill, the novel’s central character, learns about her extended family through the medium of food.
This week Joanne Joy will discuss the importance of food in Clover as part of the kick-off for the program on “The Southern Child in Literature and Film.” Joanne will deliver a presentation titled “Lessons at the Southern Table: The Fusion of Childhood and Food in Dori Sanders’s Clover.” This event will take place on Thursday, February 8, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. in the Atkins Library’s Halton Reading Room. For more information about this event, please click on the following link: https://exchange.uncc.edu/event/the-child-character-in-southern-literature-and-film/
Kudos — As you know, I like to use my Monday Missives to share news about recent accomplishments by members of the English Department. Here is the latest news:
Bryn Chancellor’s novel Sycamore has just been released in paperback with Harper Perennial; it includes a P.S. section with discussion questions, an author Q&A, and author recommendations for books about small towns. Central Piedmont Community Colleges’ Levine Campus selected it for this spring’s inaugural Levine Reads program, a campus-wide common read, and Bryn will visit the campus as part of CPCC’s Sensoria arts and literature festival in April to discuss the book with students, faculty, and staff. https://sensoria.cpcc.edu/
Sara Eudy, one of our graduate students, recently published an article titled “The Language of Diaspora: Multiraciality and Resistance in Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” in The Sigma Tau Delta Review.
Allison Hutchcraft and Juan Meneses have published four translations of contemporary Spanish poet Concha García’s poems in the Winter 2018 issue of West Branch.
Becky Roeder was named the Graduate Professor of the Year by the English Graduate Student Association at their 18th annual conference.
Sam Shapiro, one of our part-time faculty members, recently published a book review of Denis Johnson’s short story collection titled The Largesse of the Sea Maiden in the book section of The Raleigh News and Observer.
Daniel Shealy recently published an article titled “‘Lost in the Hurly-Burly’: Louisa May Alcott’s Jamie’s Wonder Book” in Resources for American Literary Scholarship.
Lara Vetter‘s A Curious Peril: H.D.’s Late Modernist Prose, has just received a 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award. According to Choice, books that receive this award are selected for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, significance of contribution to the field, and value as an important—often first—treatment of their subject. Only nine percent of the titles reviewed by Choice during the past year, and two percent of the more than 25,000 titles submitted to Choice over the same period, constitute Outstanding Academic Titles.
Upcoming Events and Deadlines — Here is information about upcoming events and deadlines:
February 6 — The UNC Charlotte Alumni Association is sponsoring a program called “A Fireside Chat with Bryn Chancellor.” During this event, Bryn will discuss her debut novel, Sycamore. The event will take place on February 6, 2018, in the Harris Alumni Center from 5:30 to 7:00. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information, please click on the following link: https://49eralumni.uncc.edu/s/1721/interior.aspx?sid=1721&pgid=1306&gid=2&cid=3574&ecid=3574&post_id=0
Quirky Quiz Question — South Carolina is not only the home to Dori Sanders’s peach farm, but it is also home to a famous peach-shaped water tower called the Peachoid. In what town is the Peachoid located?
Last week’s answer: Julian Mason
Every year the English Department gives an award to an outstanding graduate student with an interest in Southern literature. Do you know the former faculty member for whom this award is named?