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Robert Hicks: author, speaker, storyteller

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By Beth Herrinton-Hodge

Robert Hicks is a book-loving, history-revering storyteller. He crafts his stories in ways that keep history alive, because, he says “that’s what storytellers do.”

Civil War history is Hicks’ forte, and his love and respect for the people who fought and died, as well as those who struggled and survived, come to life in his lectures and his writing.

And he’ll bring that revered style to the Shelby County Library on Thursday for two events.

In the afternoon, Shelby Countians may join Hicks for “lunch with the author,” from 1:00-3:00 pm at the Shelby County Public Library. In the evening, the library will host a book signing from 6:00-7:00 pm, in the Hudson Room. This event is free and open to the public.

Hicks notes that the American Civil War….is important because “every good and important and great hope that we have is somehow tied to it. This is not about the precious jewel of people who simply want to live in the past. It is about who we will be in the future,” he states on his Web site.

Many Shelby County residents are familiar with Hicks’ storytelling through his novel The Widow of the South, a One Book – One Community selection for 2011.

Hicks based this work on the remarkable, true story of Carrie McGavock, a woman who takes it upon herself to tend after the Confederate wounded as her homestead is transformed into a field hospital during the Battle of Franklin.

Hicks presents a vivid portrait of the “bloodiest five hours of the Civil War” and the aftermath which played out on McGavock’s Carnton plantation.

The author will speak about the book Thursday and follow with a question and answer period before signing copies of the book.

At the luncheon, Hicks will give an inside perspective about his follow-up book, A Separate Country, set in New Orleans after the Civil War.

The cost of the luncheon is $30, which includes lunch provided by Catering by Kate, and an autographed hardback copy of A Separate Country. Reservations are needed for the luncheon, which is limited to 50 participants, and a non-refundable cash/check payment is required at the time of reservation. Payments can be made at the library.

Those who love Civil War stories will be drawn in to Hicks’ account of the historic battle, those inspired by drama and plot will relish the panoramic portrayal of McGavock’s life., and those who love our country will be stirred by the account of “personal transformation and how Americans can be inspired to make a difference in our modern world.

The Library is located at 309 8th Street in Shelbyville. For more information, call 502-633-3803 or visit www.scplibrary.net.

One Book—One Community

WHO: Author Robert Hicks will discuss is book The Widow of the South

WHERE: Shelby County Public Library

WHEN: Thursday, 1-3 p.m. for lunch, $30 with reservations, and 6-7 free and open to the public

TO ATTEND: For lunch reservations, contact the library at 633-3803