M.O. Walsh is the author of three books, including the novel My Sunshine Away, which was a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Pat Conroy Award for Southern Fiction. His stories and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, Southern Review, Garden and Gun, New York Times, and others. His latest novel, The Big Door Prize, is being developed into a TV series by Apple TV. He currently directs the Creative Writing Workshop MFA program at the University of New Orleans.
10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
State Capitol, House Committee Room 3
Bright Lights of Contemporary Literature
with Taylor Brown, Louis Edwards, Ladee Hubbard, Emily Nemens, M.O. Walsh, and moderator Jennifer S. Davis
Noon to 12:45 p.m.
Cavalier House Bookselling Tent
The Big Door Prize
SOON TO BE A SERIES ON APPLE TV+
The New York Times bestselling author of My Sunshine Away returns with another instant Southern classic: a gripping and heartfelt novel about a mysterious machine that upends a small Louisiana town, asking us all to wonder if who we truly are is who we truly could be.
What would you do if you knew your life's potential? That's the question facing the residents of Deerfield, Louisiana, when the DNAMIX machine appears in their local grocery store. It's nothing to look at, really—it resembles a plain photo booth. But its promise is amazing: With just a quick swab of your cheek and two dollars, the device claims to use the science of DNA to tell you your life's potential. With enough credibility to make the townspeople curious, soon the former teachers, nurses, and shopkeepers of Deerfield are abruptly changing course to pursue their destinies as magicians, cowboys, and athletes—including the novel's main characters, Douglas Hubbard and his wife, Cherilyn, who both believed they were perfectly happy until they realized they could dream for more...
Written with linguistic grace and a sense of wonder, The Big Door Prize sparkles with keen observations about what it might mean to stay true to oneself while honoring the bonds of marriage, friendship, and community, and how the glimmer of possibility can pull these bonds apart, bring them back together, and make second chances possible, even under the strangest of circumstances.
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