Washington Independent Review of Books

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Mimi Herman for “The Kudzu Queen”

Location 7014-A Westmoreland Ave. Takoma Park, MD 20912 United States
Date Sunday, May 5, 2024 at 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Duration   1 hours
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Fifteen-year-old Mattie Lee Watson dreams of men, not boys, so when the charismatic James T. Cullowee, self-proclaimed "Kudzu King," arrives in 1941 North Carolina to spread the gospel of kudzu, Mattie is captivated. Cullowee organizes a kudzu festival complete with a beauty pageant, and Mattie is determined to be crowned Kudzu Queen to capture Cullowee's attention. But as Mattie learns more about Cullowee, she discovers a dark and predatory side to the man and the plant he promotes. Based on historical facts, Mimi Herman's novel "The Kudzu Queen" unravels a tangle of sexuality, power, race, and the invasive vine through the voice of an irresistibly delightful narrator. Attendees will have the chance to hear directly from the author about the inspiration and research behind this compelling work of historical fiction. Herman is an acclaimed writer whose work has appeared in prestigious literary journals, and she is a member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, and a Hermitage Artist Retreat Fellow. This free event is a unique opportunity to gain insight into the creative process behind "The Kudzu Queen" and the real-life history that inspired it. Whether you're a fan of historical fiction, Southern literature, or simply a lover of well-crafted storytelling, this event is not to be missed.

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