I love books, and I cannot lie.If I were given the opportunity to organize a book conference with any of my favorite authors, I would be in "book heaven." Being surrounded by books make me feel safe and warm. Therefore, if I could plan the perfect book conference, I would have some of my favorite authors to be on the panel.
The location for my meeting would be the American Library in Paris, France. I love the history of the American Library in Paris. Initially, the American Library in Paris was created to provide books to the members of the United States Armed Forces in World War I. Now, The American Library in Paris has expanded to be one of the largest English-lending libraries in Europe. Plus, the library provides a view of the Eiffel Tower, which is on my bucket list. I have images of the Eiffel Tower throughout my house, as a visual reminder that one day I will go to Paris. Just imagining being surrounded by first editions and being able to view the Eiffel Tower, I get goosebumps.
I would like seven authors on the panel. The panel would be moderated by Oprah Winfrey, of course. I cannot think of anyone else, who would do such an excellent job of moderating, especially since she is an avid reader. Winfrey would ask just the right questions. I would be too star struck to ask anything. I could just see Winfrey with that poised look, that she gets when she is really focused.
- Richard Wright - Richard Wright would be excellent for multiple reasons. I participated in the 4W's Writing Institute years ago, and Richard Wright was one of the featured writers. We visited his hometown, Natchez, MS. We viewed the house, where he burned the curtains. We crossed the railroad tracks that he mentioned in his book, Black Boy. We even saw the church, where Wright's mother taught. I have always enjoyed his work. Plus, he relocated to Paris to escape racism in the United States.
- W. E. B. DuBois - Next, I would invite W. E. B. DuBois. I have his entire collection of writings. I purchased the last collection from Square Books in Oxford, MS, which is my favorite bookstore when I go home to Water Valley. His books touch me deeply. I am fascinated with his thought process, especially in The Soul of Black Folks. I presented research, entitled The Relevancy of The Souls of Black Folk in the 21st Century. Also, I attended the unveiling of the bronze bust at Clark Atlanta University and Spelman College. That experience was priceless.
- Ernest Hemingway - I dream of going to Paris and visiting all of the locations that Hemingway was known to frequent. Hemingway is known for donating to the American Library in Paris. I have had the opportunity to smell a 1st edition book by Hemingway. The $8,000 price tag stopped the actual purchase, but I am so grateful to Lemuria Bookstore for allowing me to be in the very presence of this book. Sighs. When I "make it," my first purchase will be that 1st edition.
- Mildred D. Taylor - Taylor was from Mississippi, which helped me enjoy her writing. Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry spoke to me on so many levels as a child. Additionally, the main character shared a variation of my name, Cassie. Being from Mississippi and knowing first hand how racism impacts your life, I devoured each and every book written by Taylor. I loved all her books. I even shared Taylor's books with my mother, who loves them, as well. She is such a talented writer.
- Eudora Welty - Eudora was also a writer from the 4W's Writing Institute. In Eudora's home, every room has books, and I loved this about her home. My favorite short story by her is A Worn Path. I used that text often when I taught English at the college level. I would have my students' watch her interview about A Worn Path. I like how nonchalant she is about whether the grandson is alive or dead.
- Toni Morrison - The first book that I read by Morrison was Song of Solomon. I did it to impress one of my favorite professors. I earned an A in his class because of my paper on this book. God Help the Child is my favorite book by Morrison. In this text, Morrison emphasizes how parents shape the lives of their children. If I were to meet Morrison, I discuss how she develops her novels and their plots. I would like to hear first hand her inspiration for Song of Solomon.
- Jodi Picoult - Small Great Things touched me deeply. I noticed that some of my fellow bookworms were reading Small Great Things because it kept showing up on my Instagram timeline. Picoult knocked me off my feet with the plot and the realness of her book. She entangled me in the lives of Ruth and Turk. The amount of research that she did to capture the characters in her book is truly remarkable. I would like to discuss with her the process for which she wrote the book, especially the point of views for Ruth and Turk.
What do you think about my panel of authors? If you could create a book conference, who would you have on the panel and why? Would you attend my conference? Let's talk.
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