Join us as The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour celebrates books this Thursday, April 2 at 6 pm at Off Square Books (129 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS 38655). FREE admission.
This week’s show is in honor of the Twenty-Seventh Oxford Conference for the Book (April 1-3). More information: https://www.oxfordconferenceforthebook.com/
Guests: Authors Leesa Cross-Smith (So We Can Glow) and Maria Reva (Good Citizens Need Not Fear) with music by electronica rockers, And the Echo, plus fashionable bluesman, Harlem Slim
Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers
Radio: WUMS 92.1 FM (Oxford)
Inspired by her family’s experiences in Ukraine, author Maria Reva’s story collection, Good Citizens Need Not Fear (Doubleday) moves from black absurdity to gritty realism. The book’s inter-connected characters (and a certain apartment building) provide a clever and heartfelt backdrop for the surreal action.
“Bright, funny, satirical, and relevant…A new talent to watch!” — Margaret Atwood
Maria Reva was born in Ukraine and grew up in Canada. She holds an MFA from the Michener Center at the University of Texas. Her fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, McSweeney’s, Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere, and has won a National Magazine Award. She also works as an opera librettist.
So We Can Glow (Grand Central Publishing) by Leesa Cross-Smith, is a lush, glittering short story collection exploring female obsession and desire by an award-winning author Roxane Gay calls “a consummate storyteller.”
Leesa Cross-Smith’s sensuous stories — some long, some just a paragraph, some simply text messages and emails — expose the hearts of girls and women in moments of obsessive desire and fantasy, wildness and bad decisions, brokenness and more.
Teenage girls sneak out on a summer night. Members of a cult extol their passion for the same man. A love story begins over cabbages in a grocery store. A laundress’s life is consumed by obsession for a famous baseball player.
“Leesa Cross-Smith is such a beguiling writer and her skills are on full display in So We Can Glow.” – Roxanne Gay
Leesa Cross-Smith’s novel Whiskey & Ribbons was longlisted for the 2018 Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and was one of O Magazine’s “Best Books of Summer.” A new novel, This Close to Okay, is forthcoming.
And the Echo is a synth-pop/electronica duo from Oxford, a collaboration between Winn McElroy and Morgan Pennington. Their new single Made for You, is from their forthcoming new album. Their self-titled debut album came out in April of 2015, followed by And The Echo II.
Of the new single, Atwood Magazine wrote: And the Echo established a sonic timbre and texture that continues to ring true for the Mississippi band. Glittering and pulsating, their new song “Made for You” is a raw indulgence of ambience and connection, purpose and place.
“The Original Harlem Slim” is a befitting stage name for brooding bluesman Tito Deler, a New York City modern soul man. His albums include The Original Harlem Slim and Delta Thug. Deler is reportedly working on a new release for Blue Front Records with Jimmy “Duck” Holmes.
With a background in the fashion industry, Harlem Slim is known to cut quite a figure onstage which is also a tip of the fedora to his musical heroes.
“I love the blues shouters, particularly Big Joe Turner, but Son House is my greatest influence in the sense that he did everything with a feeling. Also, Thomas A. Dorsey – the father of gospel music and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who has such a rockin’ sound and sang about her faith in the Lord. It’s so good to see folks diggin’ her these days.”