Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC


Blood, Sweat, and Tears with Derrick E. White, Wed., Oct. 2, 5:30 pm

Join us Wed., Oct. 2, 5:30 pm as Dartmouth College professor Derrick E. White will be here to discuss his book Blood, Sweat, and Tears (UNC Press, hb., 320 pp., $30).

Black college football began during the nadir of African American life after the Civil War. The first game occurred in 1892, a little less than four years before the Supreme Court ruled segregation legal in Plessy v. Ferguson. In spite of Jim Crow segregation, Black colleges produced some of the best football programs in the country. They mentored young men who became teachers, preachers, lawyers, and doctors–not to mention many other professions–and transformed Black communities. But when higher education was integrated, the programs faced existential challenges as predominately white institutions steadily set about recruiting their student athletes and hiring their coaches. Blood, Sweat, and Tears explores the legacy of Black college football, with Florida A&M’s Jake Gaither as its central character, one of the most successful coaches in its history. A paradoxical figure, Gaither led one of the most respected Black college football programs, yet many questioned his loyalties during the height of the civil rights movement.

Among the first broad-based histories of Black college athletics, Derrick E. White’s sweeping story complicates the heroic narrative of integration and grapples with the complexities and contradictions of one of the most important sources of Black pride in the twentieth century.

Derrick E. White is a scholar of modern Black history with an emphasis on intellectual, political, and sports history. He is the the author of The Challenge of Blackness: The Institute of the Black World and Political Activism in the 1970s (Florida, 2011) and co-editor of Winning While Losing: Civil Rights, The Conservative Movement and the Presidency from Nixon to Obama (Florida, 2014). He is currently working a book tentatively titled, Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Florida A & M and the Rise and Fall of a Black College Football Dynasty. 



Patricia Lockwood and Jillian Weise Poetry Reading at Redux, Sat., Sept. 28, 7 pm

Sat., Sept. 28, at 7 pm, poets Patricia Lockwood and Jillian Weise will be reading at Redux Contemporary Art Center (1056 King Street). The event is free and open to the public, and Redux is accessible and inclusive to all people.

Jillian’s new book, Cyborg Detective, came out in early September. After the reading, there will be time for audience discussion with the authors, followed by a meet-and-greet and booksigning.

Patricia Lockwood is an American poet and essayist. In addition to her memoir Priestdaddy, which was named one of the 10 best books of 2017 by The New York Times, she has published two poetry collections and is notable for her trans-genre poetics.

Jillian Weise is a poet, performance artist and disability rights activist. She is the author of four books: three poetry collections and a novel. Her first book, The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, was recently reissued in a 10th anniversary edition with a new preface. Cyborg Detective is just out from BOA Editions. Weise co-edited a feature on disability poetics with Khadijah Queen for The New York Times. Her work has also appeared in A Public Space, Granta and Tin House. Her web series, “Tips for Writers by Tipsy Tullivan,” has been profiled by BOMBElectric Lit and Inside Higher Ed. She teaches at Clemson University.



Jennifer Berry Hawes at Grace Church Cathedral Okra Soup Meeting, Tues., Sept. 17, 5 pm

Tues., Sept. 17, at 5 pm, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jennifer Berry Hawes will be at Grace Church Cathedral (98 Wentworth St.) to give a talk about her book Grace Will Lead Us Home (St. Martin’s Press, hb., 320 pp., $29).

Grace Church and Mt. Zion AME host Okra Soup jointly in Hanahan Hall at Grace. Soup will be served and all are welcome. Five dollar donations are requested for dinner.

In Grace Will Lead Us Home, Jennifer Berry Hawes provides a definitive account of the Emanuel AME Church tragedy and its aftermath. With unprecedented access to the grieving families and other key figures, Hawes offers a nuanced and moving portrait of the events and emotions that emerged in the massacre’s wake.

The two adult survivors of the shooting begin to make sense of their lives again. Rifts form between some of the victims’ families and the church. A group of relatives fights to end gun violence, capturing the attention of President Obama. And a city in the Deep South must confront its racist past. This is the story of how, beyond the headlines, a community of people begins to heal.

Jennifer Berry Hawes writes for the Charleston-based Post and Courier, where she spent a decade covering religion and now works on a team that handles in-depth investigative reporting projects for the paper. Her work has won many honors including a Pulitzer Prize, a George Polk Award, a National Headliner Award, and a Dart Award for Journalism & Trauma. She lives in Charleston.



Building a Better Runner with Terry Hamlin, Thurs., Sept. 12, 6 pm

Thurs., Sept. 12, at 6 pm Terry Hamlin, founder of the Charleston Running Club, will be here to talk about his new book Building a Better Runner (Vertel Publishing, pb., 199 pp., $22).

Building A Better Runner is your ultimate guide to distance running. Whether you are a teenager who enjoys running the mile, a hobby runner who wants to be fitter and faster, or a high-level athlete aiming for Olympic gold, this book has training tips and plans to suit your needs. There is a specific way that the body improves. If the right phases of training are used at the right times, then an athlete (from a beginner or hobby runner to an elite, high-level runner) can benefit from this scheduling. By using a scientific method developed by author and runner Terry Hamlin, this book utilizes physiology, biochemistry, and periods of stress and recovery to create the most effective program for runners looking to better themselves athletically. Hamlin wants runners to understand how the body works on a kinetic and cellular level. Additionally, he hopes to help runners understand that it’s possible to remove your frustration with not improving and make the sport of running an exciting, lifelong pursuit.

Terry Hamlin began to run to stay in shape for surfing. He went on to the University of South Carolina, where he was offered a partial scholarship in his sophomore year and accepted. He has always considered himself a road racer. Two friends, Frank Shorter and Steve Prefontaine, were having great success on the track and road, so Hamlin upped his mileage in 1974. When another friend, Bill Rodgers, won the 1975 Boston Marathon, Hamlin began to focus on the sport even more and learned all he could through his biochemistry/psychology dual major about what made him and other runners “tick.” Hamlin was ranked in the top twenty distance runners in America in 1979. He won dozens of races from the mile to the marathon. In fact, a team he put together in 1978 still holds the US Twenty-Four-Hour Relay Record. In 1977, while working full-time as a chemist at the Medical University of South Carolina, Hamlin and Dr. Marcus Newberry put together the famed Cooper River Bridge Run. That same year, Terry created the Charleston Running Club, one of the best running groups in America. Hamlin is a full-time realtor in Charleston, South Carolina, and he coaches runners interested in “becoming the best runner within.” He has coached five runners to the US Olympic Trials and has two more on the way, as of the release of this book. Hamlin lives outside his hometown with his wife, Dolly, and their two schnauzers, chickens, and assorted animals on his horse farm in the Francis Marion National Forest.



CANCELLED The Road to Healing with Ken Woodley, Fri., Sept. 6, 5:30 pm

THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED

Join us Fri., Sept 6, 5:30 pm as journalist Ken Woodley will be here to discuss his new book The Road to Healing (NewSouth Books, hb., 224 pp., $28).

Prince Edward County, Virginia closed its public school system in 1959 in “massive resistance” to the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic Brown v. Board decision of 1954. The editorial pages of the local family-owned newspaper, The Farmville Herald, led the fight to lock classrooms rather than integrate them. The school system remained closed until the fall of 1964, when the County was forced by federal courts to comply with the school integration ordered by Brown. The vast majority of white children had continued their education in a private, whites-only academy. But more than 2,000 black students were left without a formal education by the five-year closure. Their lives were forever changed.

The Road to Healing: A Civil Rights Reparation Story in Prince Edward County, Virginia is Ken Woodley’s first-person account of the steps taken in recent years to redress the wound. The book’s centerpiece is the 18-month fight to create what legendary civil rights activist Julian Bond told the author would become the first Civil Rights-era reparation in United States history; it was led by Woodley, then editor of The Farmville Herald, still owned by the original family.

Ken Woodley was the editor for twenty-four years of the Farmville Herald in Prince Edward County, Virginia. A licensed lay preacher in the Episcopal Church, he has published daily spiritual meditations Forward Day By Day. He has also written half a dozen stories for elementary-aged children and is looking for the right publishing home for these. When he’s not writing, volunteering at an after-school program for at-risk children, or reading with his dog Pugsley in his lap, Woodley enjoys listening to half a dozen beautiful notes played slowly on an electric guitar rather than fifty played too fast to appreciate them. And he loves his wife, Kim.



Vincent Musi and Callie Shell at the Charleston Music Hall, Wed., Sept. 25, 7 pm

The Year of the Dogs Live with Vincent J. Musi

Special Guest Callie Shell presenting Hope, Never Fear: A Personal Portrait of the Obamas   

Charleston Music Hall (37 John Street)

Wed., Sept. 25, 7 pm

Get tickets HERE.

Charleston-based photographers Vincent Musi and Callie Shell speak about their life, work, and new books.

As a National Geographic photographer, traveling the world to photograph lions, tigers and bears was a regular day’s work for Vince.  All that changed when his son turned sixteen–he decided to try something different; to spend some quality time at home and open a hometown studio to photograph dogs.

The result is The Year of the Dogs, a book chronicling his work in the studio matched with witty ‘dogographies’ gleaned from his time spent with each subject.

From a Labrador that likes opera to a kleptomaniac miniature golden doodle, and a loveable one-eyed Jack Russell to a farting bulldog, Musi captures the unique character and personality of these everyday dogs with evocative images and a gently comic mash-up of his own life experiences that have captured the hearts of many on his wildly popular Instagram feed.

In 2004 Callie met a first-term Illinois State Senator named Barack Obama. The two struck up a friendship, and she began photographing him for Time Magazine. Her new book Hope, Never Fear presents a unique look behind the curtains following the journey from the Obama’s family home in Chicago to the most powerful house in our nation.



The Lines Release Party with Anthony Varallo, Fri., Aug. 30, 6 pm

Join us Fri., Aug. 30, 6 pm as we celebrate the release of our friend Anthony Varallo’s first novel The Lines (University of Iowa Press, pb., 230 pp., $17).

Set in the summer of 1979, when America was running out of gas, The Lines tells the story of a family of four—the mother, the father, the girl, and the boy—in the first months of a marital separation. Through alternating perspectives, we follow the family as they explore new territory, new living arrangements, and new complications. The mother returns to school. The father moves into an apartment. The girl squares off with her mother, while the boy struggles to make sense of the world. The Lines explores the way we are all tied to one another, and how all experience offers the possibility of love and connection as much as loss and change.

Anthony Varallo is the author of four short story collections: Everyone Was There, winner of the Elixir Press Fiction Award; This Day in History, winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award; Out Loud, winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize; and Think of Me and I’ll Know. Currently he is a professor of English at the College of Charleston, where he is also the fiction editor of Crazyhorse.

 



Sing this at My Funeral with David Slucki, Thurs., Aug. 29, 6 pm

Join us Thurs., Aug. 29, 6 pm as David Slucki, a Jewish Studies professor at the College of Charleston, will be here to discuss his new memoir Sing This at My Funeral: A Memoir of Fathers and Sons (Wayne State Press, pb., 280 pp., $28).

Sing This at My Funeral tells the story of David’s father Charles and his grandfather Jakub, and the grave legacy that they each passed on. This is a story about the Holocaust and its aftermath, about absence and the scars that never heal, and about fathers and sons and what it means to raise young men.

In Sing This at My Funeral, tragedy follows the Slucki family across the globe: from Jakub’s early childhood in Warsaw, where he witnessed the death of his parents during World War I, to the loss of his family by the hand of the Nazis in April 1942 to his remarriage and relocation in Paris, where after years of bereavement he welcomes the birth of his third son before finally settling in Melbourne, Australia in 1950 in an attempt to get as far away from the ravages of war-torn Europe as he could. Charles (Shmulik in Yiddish) was named both after Jakub’s eldest son and his slain grandfather-a burden he carried through his life, which was one otherwise marked by optimism and adventure. The ghosts of these relatives were a constant in the Slucki home, a small cottage that became the lifeblood of a small community of Jewish immigrants. despite having been shaped by the ghosts of his father’s constantly hovering sorrow. This book interweaves the stories of these men with that of Slucki’s own upbringing, showing how traumatic family histories leave their mark for generations.

Blending the scholarly and literary, David grounds the story of his grandfather and father in the broader context of the twentieth century. Based on thirty years of letters from Jakub to his brother Mendel, on archival materials, and on interviews with family members, this is a unique story and an innovative approach to writing both history and family narrative. Students, scholars, and general readers of memoirs will enjoy this deeply personal reflection on family and grief.

David Slucki is an assistant professor in the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program at the College of Charleston. He is the author of The International Jewish Labor Bund after 1945: Toward a Global History and co-editor of In the Shadows of Memory: The Holocaust and the Third Generation.



gods with a little g Launch Party with Tupelo Hassman, Tues., Aug. 13, 6 pm

Join us Tues., Aug. 13, 6 pm as we celebrate the release of Tupelo Hassman‘s new novel gods with a little g (FSG, hb., 368 pp., $27). We’re still working out the details, but this will be a proper party. There might be live music. There will probably even be a piñata.

The novel starts with Helen Dedleder, unsinkable and wrecked by grief, motherless and aimless and looking for connection, a girl with a gift she doesn’t want to use and a pack of friends who are all just helping each other get by. Watching over them all is Aunt Bev, an outcast like the kids, who runs the barely tolerated Psychic Encounter Shoppe and tries to keep Helen connected to her own psychic talents―a gift passed down from her mother.

Tensions are building, though, in every way. Threats against the Psychic Encounter Shoppe become serious actions. One of the kids gets in trouble, and then another. And Helen can see some things before they happen, but somehow can’t see the most important things happening right in front of her.

Tupelo Hassman’s gods with a little g bursts and splinters with flawed, lovable characters whose haphazard investigations into each others’s hearts will reshape your understanding of trust, how to build a family, and how to make a future you can see.

Tupelo’s debut novel, Girlchild, was the recipient of the American Library Association’s Alex Award. Her work has appeared in The Boston GlobeHarper’s BazaarImaginary OklahomaThe Independent, Portland Review, and ZYZZYVA, among other publications. She is the recipient of the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame Silver Pen Award and the Sherwood Anderson Foundation Fiction Award, and is the first American to have won London’s Literary Death Match. She earned her MFA at Columbia University.



The Chelsea Girls Charleston Release Party with Fiona Davis, Thurs., Aug. 1, 5:30 pm

Join us Thurs., Aug. 1, 5:30 pm as bestselling author Fiona Davis will be celebrating the release of her brand-new novel The Chelsea Girls (Dutton, hb., 368 pp., $27).

From the dramatic redbrick facade to the sweeping staircase dripping with art, the Chelsea Hotel has long been New York City’s creative oasis for the many artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and poets who have called it home—a scene playwright Hazel Riley and actress Maxine Mead are determined to use to their advantage. Yet they soon discover that the greatest obstacle to putting up a show on Broadway has nothing to do with their art, and everything to do with politics. A Red scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for Communists, with those in the entertainment industry in the crosshairs. As the pressure builds to name names, it is more than Hazel and Maxine’s Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but also their livelihood, their friendship, and even their freedom.

Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, The Chelsea Girls deftly pulls back the curtain on the desperate political pressures of McCarthyism, the complicated bonds of female friendship, and the siren call of the uninhibited Chelsea Hotel.

Fiona Davis is the nationally bestselling author of The DollhouseThe Address, and The Masterpiece. She lives in New York City and is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and the Columbia Journalism School.