published Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Terry Kay

Dalton State hosts Georgia author at book festival

Terry Kay
Terry Kay
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Georgia author Terry Kay, perhaps best known for the 1990 novel that became a Hallmark Hall of Fame film starring Jessica Tandy, will speak Wednesday, April 17, in Dalton about what he considers his "one important book" -- and it's not "To Dance With the White Dog."

Kay, who is based in Athens, Ga., is visiting for Dalton State College's fourth annual "Homegrown" Book Festival.

"I believe I've written one important book, 'The Book of Marie,' because it deals with a view of the civil-rights movement seldom acknowledged: how young white Southerners were affected by the social changes of the time," Kay said in a news release.

The novel, published in 2007, sensitively explores the lives of young Georgians from the fictional town of Overton from the time of their high school prom in 1955 to their 50-year class reunion in 2005 and the impact of time and social change on their attitudes and long-held truths.

Kay said he has particular interest in the ways in which young white Southerners were affected by the civil-rights movement.

"To me, that grand song 'We Shall Overcome' related to young whites -- and I was one of them -- much as it did to the black community," Kay said. "We had to overcome a history of perceived segregationist traditions, and that often meant conflict with friends, family and community."

Fifteen copies of "The Book of Marie" have been donated to the Roberts Library and are available for checkout.

Kay will speak on writing "The Book of Marie" in two programs, both held in Room 105 on the lower level of The James E. Brown Center beginning at 12:30 and 6:30 p.m. Admission is free.

For more information, call the Roberts Library at 706-272-4575.

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