Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Quvenzhane 'Hushpuppy' Wallis nabs multi-book deal, Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society celebrates 25 years

Quvenzhané Wallis, the 12-year-old Oscar nominee and Houma native, won a four-book deal with Simon & Schuster this month, with her children’s chapter books scheduled to be published beginning in 2016.
Wallis played the character of Hushpuppy in 2012’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which earned her an Oscar nomination, the youngest actress to be nominated for such an honor. She has since performed as the main character in the film “Annie,” for which she received a Golden Globe nomination.
Wallis’ upcoming books, for readers ages 6 and up, will focus on third-grader Shai Williams who has a flair for the dramatic both onstage and off. They will be loosely based on the author’s own experiences.
            “Reading is very important,” Wallis said in a statement released by Simon and Schuster. “It allows people to form a visual experience in their minds of what is going on in the story. I hope all readers enjoy using their imaginations along with me and take a journey into my books.”

The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society of New Orleans kicks off its 25th anniversary with a free Meet the Author event and fall festival today at the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans. New Orleans novelists with new books out will be highlighted beginning at 2:30 p.m. They are Jenny Tilbury (“Welcome to the Garden Club”), Elizabeth Sanders (“Feux de Joie”) and Mary Helen Lagasse (“The Navel of the Moon”).
Coming up for the literary organization is the annual Words & Music, a Literary Feast, Oct. 29 through Nov. 2 in New Orleans. Because it runs over Halloween weekend, the festival will have a haunting theme with psychics and ghost hunters on stage for various events, including a séance channeling William Faulkner on Halloween evening, an interview with a vodou high priestess, a poetry reading by a direct descendent of the Salem witches and more.
For information, visit the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society web site at

Cheré Dastugue Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” She also writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire, “A Cajun Dream” and “The Letter.” Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.