Another Sister Souljah Moment…

…this one at the Barnes & Noble in Durham, N.C.

254_51oewdeyqql1It’s been nearly 17 years since the Bill Clinton-Sister Souljah smackdown in the press (and the introduction of a political term that’s been bandied around as recently as Obama’s presidential campaign), but these days Souljah, political activist, hip-hop MC and now novelist, is riding high on a different kind of notoriety: the kind that comes from being on the bestseller list. A recent USA Today interview quotes Souljah dismissing the “urban lit”  tag as ghettoizing her work (she’d rather be compared to Shakespeare, it seems), but whatever you call them, the books have found a following. Souljah comes to North Carolina this week to read from and talk about her latest book, Midnight: A Gangster Love Story; she’ll be at the Barnes & Noble at New Hope Commons in Durham on Thursday, February 5, at 7:30 p.m.

Other noteworthy N.C. literary events over the next week:

Keith Lee Morris reads from his new novel, The Dart League King, on Friday, February 6, at 7 p.m. at Durham’s Regulator Bookshop.

And the County Bookshop in Southern Pines welcomes Kelly Alexander, longtime editor of Saveur and author of Hometown Appetites: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate, on Thursday, February 12, at 4 p.m.

In & Around D.C.

Among the many (many) authors coming to the D.C. metro area over the next week, here’s a couple I’d particularly recommend:

Malcolm Gladwell’s latest, Outliers, follows on the heels of his other successes, The Tipping Point (which I’m now teaching for a second semester, to the delight of my composition students) and Blink. He’ll be at the Avalon Theatre, 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW, D.C., on Thursday night, February 5, at 8:15 p.m. (a ticketed event, I should stress; hosted by Politics and Prose). 

ph20080702021071And in honor of Lincoln’s bicentennial, Daniel Mark Epstein — author of both Lincoln and Whitman: Parallel Lives in Civil War Washington and The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage — visits the Central Branch of the Arlington Public Library (1015 North Quincy Street) on Sunday, February 8, at 3 p.m. Epstein came to last year’s Fall for the Book festival as part of a Lincoln Bicentennial panel and proved a delight to all. 

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