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Southern author Rick Bragg to speak at Ozarks on March 3

February 18, 2016
By cnp
Posted in Community Events

Acclaimed Southern author and journalist Rick Bragg will speak at University of the Ozarks on Thursday, March 3, as part of the university's 2015-16 Walton Arts & Ideas Series.

Bragg’s talk will begin at 7 p.m. in the Walton Fine Arts Center’s Rowntree Auditorium on campus. There is no cost for admission and the public is invited.

Bragg, who won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize while working as a correspondent for The New York Times, is the author of a collection of essays titled "My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South," and recently wrote a best-selling biography of music legend Jerry Lee Lewis. He is also the author of three critically acclaimed and best-selling books, "All Over but the Shoutin’," "Ava’s Man," and "The Prince of Frogtown."

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Renowned Southern author Rick Bragg will speak at Ozarks on Thursday, March 3.

A native Alabamian, Bragg says he learned to tell stories by listening to the masters, the people of the foothills of the Appalachians. "All Over but the Shoutin’" was Bragg’s first book, the story of his mother who devoted her life to making a better life for her three sons. Bragg’s books have become anthems in his native South, honoring the poor and working people, and have struck a chord with readers everywhere.

During his career Bragg worked at several newspapers, including the Anniston Star, the Birmingham News and the St. Petersburg Times, before joining The New York Times in 1994. In 1992, he was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. As a national correspondent for the Times, Bragg won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, for which the committee cited his elegantly written stories about contemporary America.

In addition, he has twice won the prestigious American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award, along with more than 50 other writing awards during his career, including the 2009 Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year, the 2011 James Beard Journalism Award for Food Culture and Travel and the 2013 Alabama Artist of the Year.

Bragg’s book, "The Most They Ever Had," is an eloquent tale of an Alabama cotton mill community, which led The New York Times Book Review to state, "It is hard to think of a writer who reminds us more forcefully and wonderfully of what people and families are all about."

In his 2014 book, "Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story," Bragg chronicles the colorful life of the rock and roll legend. Vintage Guitar Magazine called the book, "quite simply one of the best books about rock and roll ever…Rick Bragg has turned it into literature, fitting in somewhere between William Faulkner and Jim Thompson." USA Today said, "This is Lewis’ version of his own story, filtered through Bragg’s gift for language and his feel for the South…His Own Story casts one of rock n’ roll’s outlandish lives in a new light, giving Lewis the voice in words that he always had in the notes."

Bragg is also the author of "Somebody Told Me," a collection of his newspaper stories, and "I am A Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story." Bragg also writes articles for several magazines, including his popular "Southern Journal" column for Southern Living.  In 2015, he was named one of 12 initial inductees into the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame.

He is currently a professor of writing in the Journalism Department at the University of Alabama, where he teaches advanced magazine writing and narrative non-fiction.

For more information on Bragg’s visit, please contact the U of O Office of Public Relations at 479-979-1433.

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