Joni Saxon-Giusti (who is now officially a Lady, by the way), continues to tantalize Savannah's bookworms, serving up a double entree of authors this week at 6 E. Liberty.
Hot off the heels of Kodac Harrison's reading and Seersucker Live's Flock of Birds episode, Saxon-Giusti has made sure no shortage of great literature befalls Savannah this November, which is also NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month), which is notorious for giving birth to ambitious, but often not-so-stellar, literature.
Perhaps aspiring authors can glean motivation from Charles McNair and/or Danny Ellis in order to finish NaNoWriMo strong. Or they can simply enjoy the talents of two men who have mastered their respective crafts.
McNair's first novel, "Land O'Goshen," garnered a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in 1994.
"It took me 12 years to write the first one," he said.
Another 20 years would pass before his second, "Pickett's Charge," hit shelves. While he was writing during that time, he also raised his daughter, who had been born shortly after the release of "Land O'Goshen."
"Now that she is off at Bard College," McNair said. "I have more hours to devote to the muse that would have otherwise been spent on family."
In "Pickett's Charge," McNair stirs anew the grudge between North and South as the narrative oscillates between the 1960s and the 1860s.
The main character, 114-year-old Threadgill Pickett, ventures from his nursing home after a visit from his long-dead twin brother.
The reason for Threadgill's journey? His status as the last surviving veteran of the Civil War is jeopardized due to the fact that a Yankee from Maine still lives.
Through a combination of tall-tale and historical fiction influenced by magical realist and writers of the '60s such as Ken Kesey, McNair tackles the conundrum of remembering the past, yet letting go of the losses.
"Revenge is like drinking poison," McNair said. "Drinking poison and hoping someone else dies."
In addition to being an author, McNair is also the books editor for Paste Magazine, an online journal combating the notion that, "the parenthesis of the United States - NYC and LA - should be the cultural taste-makers for the entire country."
The Book Lady's second helping of literature will be in the flavor of non-fiction.
Ellis, a singer/songwriter out of Asheville, N.C., via the slums of Dublin, Ireland, will read from his memoir, "The Boy at the Gate."
Don't let the fact that his book covers his formative years at a place that would have been a five-star hotel to Oliver Twist deter you from attending. His message is an upbeat one.
"I didn't want to drag the reader through awfulness that was an Irish orphanage," Ellis said in an airy brogue. "I wanted the reader to see how life can triumph, and to tell the story of the courage of the lads on the playground."
Being that Ellis is most well-known for his musical talents, it is no wonder that the memoir materialized only after he had completed his album "800 Voices."
The voices refer to the number of orphaned boys at the Artane Industrial School - run by the fearsome Christian Brothers - where Ellis was abandoned by his mother at the mature age of 8.
"I had actually come home, one night, from a particularly rough gig," Ellis reflected when asked why he waited so long to delve into his youth for his art. As he strummed away the bad mojo, stories he had never deemed worth sharing sprung from him and his guitar.
As the album took shape, he signed with a publisher for what Ellis called a "360 contract," meaning that his publisher would handle the CD and any possible books or movies that resulted.
Being that the memoir would be Ellis' first attempt at literary narrative, the publisher assigned him a professional ghost writer. After reading the first four or five chapters, however, the ghost writer declined taking on the book and stated, "Danny needs to write this himself."
With that welcome shot to his ego, Ellis went to work.
"Once I discovered the voice of the little rebel, scallywag, blaggard I once was, the rest was easy," he said.
Most folks are amazed when they hear what he went through as a child, but Ellis believes abandonment is a universal experience.
"You can be abandoned by your mother at 11 a.m., and be having the time of your life by 3 p.m.," he said.
"But your mind replays the abandoned part of it. At the orphanage, however, I built friendships, defended them. Without realizing it until much later in life, my healing process had already begun."