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A reading by novelist Anthony Grooms

Tony Grooms, Author Photo
The Doug Hale Lecture Hall, Park 265

Anthony Grooms will be reading from his new book The Vain Conversation. According to his publisher's website: "Inspired by true events, The Vain Conversation reflects on the 1946 lynching of two black couples in Georgia from the perspectives of three characters—Bertrand Johnson, one of the victims; Noland Jacks, a presumed perpetrator; and Lonnie Henson, a witness to the murders as a ten-year-old boy. Lonnie’s inexplicable feelings of culpability drive him in a search for meaning that takes him around the world and ultimately back to Georgia, where he must confront Jacks and his own demons, with the hopes that doing so will free him from the grip of the past" (

Grooms is the author of Bombingham: A Novel and Trouble No More: Stories, both winners of the Lillian Smith Book Award for fiction and adopted for study in universities. He has taught writing and American literature at universities in Ghana and Sweden, and since 1994, at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. He has lectured widely on American literature and culture, especially on topics related to narrations that reflect on the American Civil Rights Movement. Grooms is a Fulbright Fellow, a Yaddo Fellow, a Hurston-Wright Foundation Legacy Award finalist, and an Arts Administration Fellow from the National Endowment for the Arts.  His novel, The Vain Conversation, was published in spring 2018.  For more about Grooms, visit

This talk is sponsored by The Leighton M. Ballew Lecture Fund in English and the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. The faculty sponsors are Elissa Henken, Reg McKnight, and Ed Pavlic.

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