'Crazy in Alabama' author to deliver keynote at Troy University's Reading Matters conference

Posted: Wednesday, 04 June 2014

TROY - Mark Childress, award-winning southern author and screenwriter perhaps best known for his novel and screenplay "Crazy in Alabama," will deliver the keynote address at the Reading Matters Interdisciplinary Summer Conference at Troy University on June 12.

The conference, which will be held in the Hawkins-Adams-Long Hall of Honor on the Troy Campus, will kick off on June 11 with an inaugural address delivered by Dr. Hal Fulmer, Associate Provost and Dean of First-Year and Undergraduate Studies. The inaugural address will be followed by a session of presentations by conference participants and a reception.

"As part of the University's multi-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to create a culture of engaged readers, the summer reading conference provides an opportunity to assist our faculty with ideas about how to encourage our students to become more active readers and learners," Dr. Fulmer said. "This faculty development piece is one of three major focus areas for our QEP, along with the Common Reading Initiative and the College Reading selections. We are excited to present this conference which will include a major keynote address by Mark Childress, a spotlight lecture by Frye Gaillard, presentations by Troy University faculty, staff and students, as well as presentations by faculty from across the region and the country."

Childress will address conference participants on "The Greatest Invention" at 10:30 a.m. on June 12 in the Hawkins-Adams-Long Hall of Honor. A discussion of "Crazy in Alabama" led by Childress will follow at 11:30 a.m.

A native of Monroeville, Childress is a graduate of the University of Alabama and formerly served as a reporter for The Birmingham News, features editor for Southern Living magazine and regional editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His other novels include: "A World Made of Fire," "V for Victor," "Tender," "Gone for Good," "One Mississippi," and "Georgia Bottoms." In addition, Childress has written three picture books for children.

The conference final day on June 13 will include a spotlight lecture by award-winning journalist and author Frye Gaillard at 9 a.m. in the Hall of Honor. Gaillard has written more than a dozen books on Southern culture and history, including "Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement that Changed America," "Race, Rock and Religion: Profiles from a Southern Journalist," "The Quest for Desegregation," "Kyle at 200 MPH," "Lessons from the Bayou," The Books That Mattered: A Reader's Memoir," and "If I Were a Carpenter: Twenty Years of Habitat for Humanity." He is a native of Mobile.