Books, authors, and more

Carolyn Curry Speaks at Georgia State University Tomorrow!

Carolyn Newton Curry, author of Suffer and Grow Strong: The life of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1834-1907, will be speaking about Georgia native Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, a Civil War heroine, suffragette, and early proponent of higher education for women.

Carolyn will be speaking at the Special Collections Library Colloquium Room on April 16, 2014 at 1:30 pm. Admission is free and open to the public.
Georgia State University Library
8th Floor Lounge
100 Decatur Street
Atlanta, GA 30303 Open to the Public
1:30 p.m.
Call (404) 413-2820 for more information

curry cover tbnl

A Plot for Pridemore off to the Mill!

What a lovely day to spend time with the Ferrol Sams Award winners!

Roth_Pridemore_tbnl   Also, we are off to the press with Stephen Roth’s 2012 Award winner, with mighty fine praise here:

“I’d about given up hope on ever reading a new writer with that beautifully dry and irreverent tone delivered by some of my favorite writers—Charles Portis, James Wilcox, and John Kennedy Toole. But Stephen Roth has found the key and done the trick. You’ll bathe in the fresh humor and the humanity of Roth’s new novel, A Plot for Pridemore.”

—Clyde Edgerton, author of Walking across Egypt, The Night Train, and other books


Karen Spears Zacharias wins the Weatherford Award for her debut novel Mother of Rain

Mother.of.Rain.300   Karen Spears Zacharias was presented the Weatherford Award for Fiction for her debut novel, Mother of Rain on Friday evening, March 28, 2014, at the Appalachian Studies Association Conference at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.

Jason Howard, editor of the literary journal Appalachian Heritage conferred the award to Zacharias and read the following comment from the judges regarding her work:

 Mother of Rain is a gem, with beautifully drawn Appalachian characters, a strong sense of time and place, and a deeply important and universal theme: the interconnection of our actions and guilt (the patchwork quilt image). Like Blake, Zacharias deals with the complexity of the “fearful symmetry,” adding a profundity to her tale that gives it a superb richness.”

Past recipients of this award include Barbara Kingsolver, Lee Smith, Amy Greene, Charles Frazier, Ron Rash, and Homer Hickam, Jr.

“I am so very grateful to win this award from the Appalachian Studies Center,” said Zacharias. “The Weatherford Award is a lovely tribute to the place and the people and the language that has shaped me as a writer and as a thinker.”

Joseph Bathanti to Read at Central Piedmont Community College

Joseph Bathanti Reading/Discussion & Signing
Tuesday, April 8th at 7 p.m.
Tate Center, Central Piedmont Community College
If you are in the Charlotte, NC area, please plan to attend, and congratulate Joseph.
Joseph Bathanti will be this year’s recipient of the Irene Blair Honeycutt Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Literary Arts.



Mercer Press at the 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival!

Mercer Press’s bright and shining staff will be selling fantastic books at Macon’s 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival. Avid readers and eager authors alike come on down and peruse our offerings! Mercer is proud to be a part of the pink! And who knows, maybe Pressley will make an appearance.

Happy Birthday John Updike—and a little Kierkegaard too!

Today is John Updike’s birthday. Now, that may seem matter o’fact to you, but we LOVE Kierkegaard at Mercer University Press. So, we know what you’re thinking—what has Updike got to do with Kierkegaard? Let us just say that if we can find a way to turn a topic around to Kierkegaard, well—we just can’t stop ourselves. In the fall, we will be publishing a significant book on Updike and Kierkegaard. He (Updike) was an avid student of Kierkegaard.

If you are still reading this, below you will find a little bit of information about Updike from the Writers Almanac (abridged of course), along with some details regarding our upcoming book by David Crowe.

It’s the birthday of novelist John Updike, born in Reading, Pennsylvania (1932). He went to Harvard, where he majored in English and drew cartoons for the Harvard Lampoon (he also wrote the majority of each issue). After graduation, he got married, sold his first short story to The New Yorker, and headed off to England with his new wife. In England, Updike studied painting at Oxford University and continued to send poems and stories to The New Yorker. His work impressed E.B. and Katharine White—E.B. wrote for The New Yorker and Katharine was its fiction editor. While they were vacationing in England they visited Updike and offered him a job writing the magazine’s “Talk of the Town” column.

By 1959, Updike was just five years out of Harvard, but already he had published more than a hundred pieces in The New Yorker and finished three books: a novel, The Poorhouse Fair (1959); a book of poetry, The Carpentered Hen (1958); and a book of stories, The Same Door (1959). Updike wrote more than 50 books, including 22 novels. His books include Couples (1968), Too Far to Go (1979), The Witches of Eastwick (1984), In the Beauty of the Lilies (1996), and Terrorist (2006).

The Maple short stories, collected in Too Far To Go link stories that focus upon the marriage and eventual divorce of Richard and Joan Maple and depict a 1960s New York City and New England milieu through the 1970s typical of much of Updike’s fiction.

Now, how can we tie this to Kierkegaard you ask? Well, John Updike once wrote that many of his works are “illustrations of Kierkegaard,” and yet no current study provides an extended, convincing reason why this is so, why Updike came to live by Søren Kierkegaard’s ideas. David Crowe’s upcoming book Cosmic Defiance (November 2014) does, telling the story of Updike’s life-altering encounter with Fear and Trembling in early career, and tracing the subsequent evolution of Updike’s complex and coherent theology. Examining Updike’s many claims about Kierkegaard’s life and work, and casting those claims into debate with Kierkegaard’s best scholars and critics, this book explains why Kierkegaard and his intellectual inheritors Karl Barth and Miguel de Unamuno provided Updike with a reason to live, and a vocation as an antinomian Christian writer. The study pursues the same question Updike did: How are identity and action bound up with faith in God? Updike’s eighteen intensely autobiographical Maples stories, chapters in the tale of a 22-year marriage that begins hopefully but ends in divorce, epitomize the theological preoccupations Updike learned from Kierkegaard: becoming an authentic self and learning to love the neighbor creatively rather than compulsively.

There you go. Happy Birthday Mr. Updike.

Suffer and Grow Strong

Wonderful morning at the Georgia Women of Achievement Induction Ceremony for Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1834-1907, with her biographer Carolyn Newton Curry, and her brand new MUP book.

Everybody Welcome Pressley to the MUP Blog!

My adorableness and astute insight into all things ursine cannot be overstated.

Mercer Author and Professor at Conference

Mercer’s very own Dr. John Dunaway is at this very moment at the American Maritain Conference. Serving variously as presenter and chair, Dr. Dunaway’s latest book is a translation of a Russian novel, Vladimir Volkoff’s THE POPE’S GUEST. For more information, visit us at

Safe travels, John!

Mercer Weathers the Weather

It’s another great day here at Mercer University Press. After repeated attempts to destroy Macon GA with ice, Mother Nature is playing the old switcheroo and giving us two days in the seventies. Time will tell if Mercer Press can keep up. Less uncertain is Marsha and Jenny’s presence in the Mercer Press rocking chairs. Margaritas are optional.

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