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Daniel Wallace

COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Novelist Daniel Wallace returns as the keynote speaker at the 29th annual Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium, Oct. 19-21, reading from his new novel, “Extraordinary Adventures.”

Wallace is known for his bestselling novel “Big Fish,” which was adapted as a hit movie and a Broadway musical. In it Wallace firmly established himself as the master of the tall tale.

In Wallace’s sixth novel, “Extraordinary Adventures,” unassuming Edsel Bronfman of Birmingham, Ala., wins a weekend getaway to Destin, Fla., but must bring along a wife or girlfriend to claim his prize. Having neither, he sets out to find someone, which leads to extraordinary adventures that the New York Timesdeclares are “as refreshing and original as his earlier books.”

Daniel Wallace’s novel with its theme of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary is a fitting starting point for this year’s symposium theme, “’So the incident became a story’: Tales and Truths Around the South,” which is inspired by Eudora Welty’s story “The Hitch-Hikers” from her collection, “A Curtain of Green.”

Other novelists and short story writers who will participate in the symposium include Mary Miller, “Always Happy Hour,” Michael Farris Smith, “Desperation Road,” Steve Yates, “The Legend of Albino Farm” and James E. Cherry, “Edge of the Wind.”

Mississippi poet laureate, Beth Ann Fennelly will read from her collection of micro-memoirs, “Heating and Cooling.” Other poets will include Rodney Jones, “Village Prodigies,” Derrick Harriell, “Stripper in Wonderland,” Jacqueline Trimble’s “American Happiness” and Catherine Pierce, “The Tornado is the World.”

The Welty Prize will also be awarded for a book on Women’s Studies, Southern Studies or Literary Studies, with a reading by the prize-winning author.

Along with the published authors, The W will welcome five high school students, winners of the Eudora Welty Ephemera Prize for fiction, essay or poetry. The selected students will be invited to read their work and have lunch with the authors.

All symposium events will be held on campus and are free and open to the public. The symposium is made possible through the generous support of the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. For updates and more information, see the symposium website http://www.muw.edu/welty.

June 12, 2017