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Andre Dubus, Ellen Gilchrist and Dinah Johnson to Headline 2006 Pee Dee Fiction Festival at Francis Marion University

     The Pee Dee Fiction Festival, the first major public event to celebrate and promote literature and reading at Francis Marion University, is set for Nov. 9-11.

     The festival, which features renowned novelists Andre Dubus, Ellen Gilchrist and children’s book author Dinah Johnson as keynote speakers, will be an annual community program of readings, lectures and panel discussions with programs for all ages. A number of fiction topics will be covered, including screenwriting, Christian fiction, “front porch stories,” and regionalism. 

     Two screenings of the film “House of Sand and Fog,” based on the best-selling novel of Dubus’s book of the same name, will be shown. “House of Sand and Fog” was an Oprah Book Club Selection and No. 1 New York Times best-seller. Dubus is also the author of a collection of short fiction, “The Cage Keeper and Other Stories,” and the novel “Bluesman.” He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Magazine Award for fiction, and the Pushcart Prize.

     Dubus will be joined at the festival by Ellen Gilchrist, who attracted critical and popular accolades from the publication of her book of short fiction, “In the Land of Dreamy Dreams,” in 1981. The National Book Award winner for “Victory Over Japan” is a native of Mississippi.  In 2000, she published “Collected Stories,” which features 34 stories from seven different collections spanning her career.

     The 2006 Pee Dee Fiction Festival also features Dinah Johnson who began her career as a writer of children’s books. Her first book, “All Around Town” (1998), consists of a narrative accompanying the photographs of Richard Samuel Roberts, a South Carolina photographer in the early part of the 20th century.   Johnson’s primary interest is African American children’s literature. She edited, along with Catherine Lewis, a special issue of “African American Review” (1998) devoted to black children’s literature. 

    The festival will kick-off on Thursday Nov. 9 with panel discussions on “How Do We Read a Story?,” “ Screenwriting,” and a book signing with author Ellen Gilchrist.

     For more information on the Pee Dee Fiction Festival, contact the Department of English at 843-661-1371 or visit the festival’s website at

#60 / 11-01-06
Last Published: December 1, 2006 10:27 AM
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