Author: pearc007

Children’s Book by Charles Ghigna selected to be featured at the 2020 National Book Festival

The Alabama Center for the Book has selected The Night the Forest Came to Town , by Alabama author Charles Ghigna to be featured as the Alabama Great Reads selection for the 2020 National Book Festival .    

The Library of Congress National Book Festival is an annual literary event that brings together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities. The 20th Library of Congress National Book Festival will celebrate “American Ingenuity” in 2020, featuring the creativity and inspiration of some of the nation’s most gifted authors in a re-imagined virtual festival the weekend of Sept. 25-27. The event will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, broadcast through various web based venues which will be announced in August.

The Night the Forest Came to Town , “sings the story of a paved parking lot returning to a paradise teeming with diverse people, plants, and animals. It begins with an illustration of distracted townspeople scurrying across gray streets on a summer evening. The children, full of wide-eyed wonder, notice the wind blowing in something new…” (Kirkus Reviews,  2018).  With beautiful and engaging illustrations as backdrop, Ghigna takes reader’s on a lyrical journey from drab grey concrete living, to vibrant urban renewal.   

Every year, a list of books representing the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, is distributed by the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book during the National Book Festival.  Each book is selected by a Center for the Book state affiliate or state library and most are for children and young readers. Books may be written by authors from the state, take place in the state, or celebrate the state’s culture and heritage.

The Alabama Center for the Book supports reading, literacy and other book-related activities in Alabama as well as promotes appreciation of regional writers.  The Center is a founding co-sponsor of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame.

The Library of Congress’ Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading, is a national force for reading and literacy promotion.  A public-private partnership, its sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through its Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit

Alabama Writers Hall of Fame Inductees Announced for 2020

Alabama Writers Hall of Fame 2020

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.  — Seven distinguished authors will be inducted into the 2020 Alabama Writers Hall of Fame at The University of Alabama’s Bryant Conference Center March 9, 2020.

This year’s inductees include Mark ChildressFaye Gibbons, Carolyn Haines,  Honorée Fanonne Jeffers and Michael Knight. Authors Ralph Ellison and Zelda Fitzgerald will be inducted posthumously.

A reception will be held in the authors’ honor at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The induction ceremony will immediately follow dinner.

Individual tickets and sponsor tables can be purchased by contacting Emily Burnett at or 205-348-5543.

The Alabama Writers Hall of Fame was created in 2014 by a partnership between the Alabama Center for the BookUA Libraries and the Alabama Writers’ Forum. Dr. Donald Gilstrap, dean of UA Libraries, said the gala showcases Alabama’s literary heritage as well as its contemporary prize-winning authors.

“This year we are honoring writers who are well-known for award-winning fiction, poetry, screen-writing, and writing for children and young adults, as well as two ground-breaking 20th-century authors,” Gilstrap said. “The variety of genres underscores the level of literary talent in Alabama. We hope people will celebrate their achievements with us in March.”

Childress is a native of Monroeville and a UA graduate. He’s the author of seven novels translated into 14 languages, as well as screenplays, children’s books, numerous articles, essays and reviews. He adapted his best-selling novel, “Crazy in Alabama,” into the screenplay for the Columbia Pictures film directed by Antonio Banderas.

A long-time resident of Deatsville, Gibbons has written more than a dozen children’s picture books and young adult novels that focus on life in the rural South since the 1980s.

Haines is a Lucedale, Mississippi native who lives in Semmes. She is a “USA Today” bestselling author of more than 80 books of fiction.

Jeffers was born in Kokomo, Indiana and grew up in Durham, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia, but she was educated in Alabama, with degrees from Talladega College and UA. Jeffers has published widely in poetry, fiction and essays, and she has four poetry collections, with a fifth, “The Age of Phillis,” scheduled to be published in early 2020.

Knight is the author of two novels, three collections of short stories and a book of novellas. His most recent collection of stories, “Eveningland,” was selected as an Editor’s Choice Pick by The New York Times and a Southern Book of the Year by Southern Living magazine.

Ellison was born in Oklahoma in 1914 and trained as a musician at Tuskegee Institute from 1933 to 1936. Soon after, he made a visit to New York and met author Richard Wright, which led him to his first attempts at fiction. The result was “Invisible Man,” a first novel by an unknown writer that remained on the bestseller list for 16 weeks and won the National Book Award for fiction. He died in 1994.

Fitzgerald is a Montgomery native who was an artist, writer and personality who helped to establish the Roaring 20s image of liberated womanhood embodied by the “flapper.” She and her husband, novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, became icons of the freedoms and excesses of the 1920s Jazz Age. Her novel, “Save Me the Waltz,” published in 1932, is an autobiographical recounting of her marriage. She died in 1948.

“The Alabama Writers Hall of Fame inductions present Alabama’s literary arts with distinction, and love,” said Jeanie Thompson, executive director of the Alabama Writers’ Forum. “This is a gala event, with individual tickets as well as tables that can be purchased in honor of a past inductee, or to celebrate one of the incoming inductees.”