About the Book
“When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky,” is an unusual, character-driven story exploring the conflicts of race and culture in the highly segregated society of the 1920s South.
This richly imagined novel follows Two Feathers, a young Cherokee horse-diver on loan to Glendale Park Zoo from a Wild West show during the summer of 1926. After a dive gone terribly wrong — Two and her horse plunge into a sinkhole, killing the horse and injuring Two — strange things start to happen at the park. Fragments of the ancient past begin to surface, ghosts appear and animals begin to fall ill. Two Feathers, Black zoo employee Crawford, park manager Clive and an eclectic cast of characters work together to get to the bottom of these mysterious goings-on.
About the Author
Margaret Verble is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a member of a large Cherokee family that has, through generations, made many contributions to the tribe’s history and survival. Although many of her family have remained in Oklahoma to this day, and some still own and farm the land on which two of her books are set, Margaret was raised in Nashville, Tennessee, and currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
Margaret’s first novel, “Maud’s Line,” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2016. Her second novel, “Cherokee America,” was listed by the New York Times as one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year for 2019 and won the Spur Award for Best Western.
As part of this year’s One Read program, we invited you to take inspiration from M.O. Walsh’s naming convention in the “The Big Door Prize,” by telling a tale in 250 words or less, and we asked that you titled your story using a chapter heading from the book. The stories could be about anything and anyone, but they should harmonize with your chosen title.
Thank you to everyone who entered and shared your works of flash fiction.
Our two winners are Scott Garson and Suzette Haefling. Honorable mentions go to David Lake and Regan Puckett.
We are excited to share these stories with you!
Continue reading “Lyrical Beginnings: Flash Fiction Contest Winners”
For this year’s One Read art exhibit, we asked artists from Mid-Missouri to submit works that explore the idea of potential, that capture a transformation, or investigate what someone or something might become. We thank all of the contributing artists and we extend a special congratulations to the winners listed below. Thanks also to our judges for their careful consideration of the entries.
Continue reading “Possibility, Promise: Art Exhibit Winners”
In this year’s One Read selection, author M.O. Walsh uses John Prine lyrics and song titles for many of the book’s chapter titles, as well as for the name of the book itself. Taking inspiration from Walsh’s naming convention in the “The Big Door Prize,” we invite you to tell a tale in 250 words or less, and we ask that you title your story using a chapter heading from the book. You can choose any chapter title for your flash fiction. Your story can be about anything and anyone, but it should harmonize with your chosen title. The tone can be joyful, pessimistic or anywhere in between. Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published online and in the Columbia Missourian, and the winners will receive bookstore gift cards.
Starting September 1, entries may be submitted online, mailed or dropped off at any library or bookmobile. (See full rules below for details.) Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published on this site and in the Columbia Missourian, and winners will receive a $25 book store gift card.
Participants must be age 16 or older and residents of Boone or Callaway Counties. Read on for complete contest rules. Continue reading “Lyrical Beginnings: Flash Fiction Writing Contest”
A One Read Art Exhibit
Orr Street Studios (106 Orr Street, Columbia)
Inspired by this year’s One Read book “The Big Door Prize,” we invite Mid-Missouri artists ages 16 and older to contribute works that explore the idea of potential, that capture a transformation, or investigate what someone or something might become.
Cash prizes will be awarded for three winners, sponsored by Columbia’s Office of Cultural Affairs. The third place winner will receive $50, second place $75 and first place $125. Continue reading “Possibility, Promise: One Read Art Exhibit Call for Submissions”
About the Book
“The Big Door Prize” is a humorous and delightful story of a small town upended.
An unassuming booth shows up at a Deerfield, Louisiana grocery store, promising to reveal your true life potential for a mere two dollars and a swab of DNA from your cheek. Suddenly, store owners, nurses and teachers are striving to be cowboys, magicians and athletes. The steady and quietly happy marriage of Douglas and Cherilyn Hubbard is disturbed by Cherilyn’s readout from the mysterious machine, which declares her true life calling to be “royalty.” Meanwhile, teenager Jacob tries to figure out who he is after the death of his twin brother, Toby. And Toby’s troubled ex-girlfriend, Trina, plots revenge. M.O. Walsh addresses serious topics with a light hand in this offbeat and charming novel about small-town life, relationships and the power of dreams.
About the Author
M.O. Walsh was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His fiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, The Paris Review, The Southern Review, and many others. His first novel, “My Sunshine Away,” was a New York Times bestseller.
He is a graduate of the MFA program at Ole Miss and also has degrees from the University of Tennessee and LSU. He currently directs The Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans and lives with his family near Lake Pontchartrain.
Biographical information and author photo courtesy of mowalsh.com.
About the Book
“Furious Hours” is the stunning story of a serial killer and the book Harper Lee failed to publish about his crimes.
Part true crime narrative, part biography, “Furious Hours” documents the remarkable story of the 1970s-era Alabama serial killer Willie Maxwell, and Harper Lee’s attempt to write a book about his crimes, the justice system and racial politics in the deep South. Cep first tells the story of Maxwell, the mysterious deaths of several family members, accusations of voodoo and his dramatic murder at the funeral of his final alleged victim. Cep next dives deeply into the trial of Maxwell’s killer (which Harper Lee attended), Alabama politics and the insanity defense. Finally, Cep creates a portrait of a frustrated Lee, trying — and failing — to get to the truth behind the murders onto the page. The result is an extensively researched and immersive work of nonfiction. Continue reading “2021 One Read Winner: About “Furious Hours” by Casey Cep”
About the Book
“A Gentleman in Moscow” is a grand adventure that takes place within the walls of a single luxury hotel.
In 1922, a Bolshevik tribunal sentences Count Alexander Rostov to house arrest in the luxurious Hotel Metropol. For the next 30 years, the Count experiences his country’s upheaval and transformation from the confines of his attic room, the building’s grand public spaces and the behind-the-scenes domains of hotel employees-turned-friends. While Rostov cannot go out into the world, the world comes to him in the form of Nina, a bureaucrat’s precocious daughter; the film actress Anna Urbanova; American intelligence officer Richard Vanderwhile; and even political leaders like Nikita Khrushchev. This novel is a lightly drawn, episodic portrait of Russia’s 20th century political history, as well as a charming tale of one man’s dedication to family, memory and home. Continue reading “2020 One Read Winner: About “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles”
About the Book
“Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century” is a compelling work of immersive journalism.
Author Jessica Bruder describes the lives of nomadic workers who travel from one temporary job to another to make ends meet. Working long hours at beet harvests and walking miles in Amazon warehouses, these mostly older Americans live in their RVs, cars or vans and represent an increasing population of migrant workers living just this side of homelessness. Bruder provides both a critique of our current economy and a celebration of human resourcefulness and resilience.
Continue reading “2019 One Read Winner: About “Nomadland” by Jessica Bruder”
About the Book
”Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” is a compelling work of true crime that will captivate fiction and nonfiction readers alike.
When white settlers pushed the Osage Nation into Oklahoma in the 1800s, the tribe retained the mineral rights to the infertile land they were forced to call home. The subsequent discovery of oil made the Osage rich, and the U.S. government appointed white “guardians” to help manage their wealth. In the early 1920s, a number of Osage Indians suddenly died under mysterious circumstances or were outright murdered. This campaign of terror spurred young J. Edgar Hoover and his newly established FBI to investigate, ultimately uncovering shocking depths of greed, bigotry and corruption. David Grann’s dogged research and spellbinding storytelling combine to create a riveting true-crime narrative. Continue reading “2018 One Read Winner: About “Killers of the Flower Moon” and David Grann”