Opening chapter of ‘Mudbound’ coming to Saturday’s Daily

Posted: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 9:07 am
By Ben Beagle

The first chapter — and a little bit extra — from this year’s selection in the “A Tale for Three Counties” community reading project will be published as a special section in print editions of The Daily News on Saturday.
Hillary Jordan’s acclaimed debut novel “Mudbound” follows two families — one black, one white — who are struggling on a desolate Mississippi farm not long after the end of World War II.
The opening pages introduce readers to Jamie McAllan, who is charming, handsome and haunted by his memories of the war. We also briefly meet Laura McAllan, sister-in-law of Jamie. City-bred Laura is trying to raise her children on her husband’s farm, a place that is both foreign and frightening to her.
The story explores social issues such as prejudice through the eyes of six characters, including Ronsel Jackson, the eldest son of sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm. Ronsel, who is black, has returned a war hero, but no matter his bravery, he is considered less than a man in the Jim Crow South.
The novel was published in 2008 and won the Bellwether Prize, which promotes literature of social change.
Jordan, who grew up in Texas and Oklahoma and now lives near New York City, is scheduled to visit Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties March 10 to 12.
In the weeks leading up to her visits, libraries will be hosting book discussions and special contests.
“A Tale for Three Counties” began in 2003, a collaborative effort among public libraries in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties. In 2005, Genesee Community College joined the project.
The special section also includes a schedule of book discussions and author visits, information on a book review contest and brief updates on each of the past seven Tale authors — four of whom published new books 2010. Several also have books slated for release in 2011.

Copies of Mudbound are available for loan or purchase at libraries in each of the three counties and for purchase at local bookstores.

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Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation

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