Archive for April, 2007

Grievances Author Mark Ethridge Follows in Grandmother's Writing Footsteps

Monday, April 30th, 2007 by Brian Seidman

More notes from the road from our author Mark Ethridge:

A week from tonight, Im the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Queens University Friends of the Library in Charlotte another of the many speeches Ive made to literary groups and at universities since NewSouth Books published Grievances almost a year ago.

This one stands to be a little different.

On May 8, 1974 thirty three years prior, almost to the day my grandmother, Willie Snow Ethridge, addressed the same group.

As the Friends of the Library reported in a recent newsletter item, Willie Snow Ethridge came to Charlotte (from a weekend at the Kentucky Derby) to talk at Queens about her 1973 book, Side By Each. A scrapbook in Everett Library documents her visit as speaker . . . Reporters at both The Charlotte Observer and The Charlotte News found her to be engaging as a person and a writer part of her grandsons inheritance from her and other well known writers in his family.

Being Mark Ethridge III leads people to assume I most closely identify with my newspaper editor father (Raleigh Times, Akron Beacon Journal, Detroit Free Press) or my newspaper publisher grandfather (Louisville Courier-Journal, Newsday) – especially since Ive been both a newspaper publisher and an editor.

But the fact is, Ive always had as much in common with Willie (that was her given name and thats what her sixteen grandchildren called her) as I do with the journalists for whom I am named. I especially identify with her love of stories and her humor.

Ill likely never equal her talent and Ill certainly never match her output. Willie Snow Ethridge published sixteen books. Ive published one, although Im finishing another and plotting a third.

But the newsletter story carries the headline A First For Annual Meeting.

If I didnt feel any legacy pressure before, I certainly do now.

Grievancesis nowavailablefrom NewSouth Books,, or your favorite local or online bookretailer.

Remembering Author Hans Koning

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007 by Suzanne La Rosa

Hans KoningWriter Hans Koning–author of thirteen novels, ten non-fiction books, three plays, two translations, and a childrens book–died on April 13 at home in Easton, Connecticut. Born in Amsterdam, he came to the United States in 1951, and published his first novel, The Affair, in 1958.

In 2001, we published his thirteenth novel, Zeeland or Elective Concurrences. Shortly thereafter, we began the Hans Koning reprint series with the idea of bringing all of Koning’s works back into print. Beginning in 2002, NewSouth released Koning’s The Affair, An American Romance, The Petersburg-Cannes Express, A Walk with Love and Death, and I Know What I’m Doing; the latest, The Kleber Flight, originally published in 1981, was released by NewSouth in fall 2006.

Koning was among the first authors signed by NewSouth Books. A lively and lasting friendship developed based on mutual respect for the causes we cared about and our commitment to taking chances in the twin worlds of politics and publishing. To our way of thinking, Koning was quintessentially engage. He eschewed mere dinner-table rhetoric about the issues of the day in favor of personal activism that included his resistance work in WWII, anti-Vietnam War activities, and the hosting of a radio program called “Literary Discord.” His convictions about human rights animated his life and his stories, often obscuring the elegance of his pen and the luminous prose moments he delivered in which our human and sexual connectedness are described. His perspective on the place where politics and history and personal choice intersect was unique and affecting. Curious, articulate, and writing to the end, NewSouth is profoundly honored to represent him.

Hans Koning is remembered in The New York Times, the International Herald, and the Hartford Courant, as well as by his family at his website,

Gov. John Patterson Subject of New Book, Documentary

Monday, April 16th, 2007 by Suzanne La Rosa

Former Alabama Governor John Patterson is subject of a forthcoming biography by historian Warren Trest (Wings of Denial), called Nobody But the People, to be published by NewSouth Books in 2008. Patterson is also the subject of a new documentary, called In the Wake of the Assassins. The film by Robert Clem will be shown in Montgomery on May 21 at 4pm at Alabama Department of Archives and History; a reception follows. For more information, call the Friends of the Alabama Archives at 334-242-4363.

Rev. H. K. Matthews Honored in Pensacola

Thursday, April 12th, 2007 by Mary Katherine

“The honor and recognition granted theRev. H. K. Matthews [in February] for his courageous contributions as a civil rights leader in Pensacola were long overdue,” says the Pensacola News Journal.

Rev. H. K. MatthewsMatthews, author of Victory After the Fall: Memories of a Civil Rights Activist, was recognized last month during the H. K. Matthews Commemorative EventA Salute to Black History Month at Pensacola Junior College. Matthews “was honored for a lifetime of work Monday evening before an audience of some of Pensacola’s most prominent citizens,” writes the University of West Florida newspaper, The Voyager.Hosts of civic leaders, including Governor Charlie Crist, civil rights activist Dick Gregory, and former congressman Joe Scarborough, each took a turn at the podium to offer praise, thanks, and to tell stories about Matthews many contributions to the area.

Matthews also hadthe chance to offer his own thanks to the community.

From The Voyager:

In a steady tone, forceful for a man of his years, he addressed the crowd.

“Some people don’t like to be recognized,” Matthews said. “I’ve never asked anyone to make me a leader. If I do that, I am, to a degree, unfaithful to commitment. I don’t have to ask anyone to recognize me.”

Ending his speech for the evening, Matthews, who had been eliciting complimentary sounds of agreement and head-nods from the gathered well-wishers, took on a persona rarely seen since the days of Dr. King, speaking in an urgent tone that sunk into the hearts of all those present. Impressing every word into the audience, he summed up the troubles from his past, and his optimism for the future.

“I’ve had some hills to climb. I’ve had some dreary days and sleepless nights,” he said. “But when I look around and think things over, I see that all of our good days outweigh our bad days. I can’t complain.”

Rev. Matthew’s book, Victory After the Fallis a first-person narrative of the challenges and opportunities black citizens encountered before, during, and after the 1960s struggle for racial equality. Victory After the Fall provides a fascinating journey into the civil rights battlegrounds of northwest Florida and beyond, but it is also a story of moral courage and personal redemption.

Victory After the Fall is available directly from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite local or online book retailer. Victory After the Fall is also available as an Adobe Reader ebook.

Like a Tree Author Discusses Dream of Novel-Writing

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007 by Brian Seidman

Calvin Kytle, author of the forthcoming NewSouth book Like a Tree, discussed his dream of writing a novel earlier this month with North Carolina’s Herald Sun newspaper. As Kytle explains in the article, “Off and on all my life I wanted to do some fiction. I decided I would write a novel when I retired. I am very pleased with it, and I hope it will be well reviewed. I just did it to get something out of my system.” From the article:

[Like a Tree] focuses on a white, middle class, protestant Atlanta family during the Great Depression and centers around the main character, Douglas Krueger, as he battles his own depression. The novel details his road to recovery, which is similar to that of the country.

“I call it a functional Southern family,” Kytle said. “I got sort of weary of the dysfunctional Southern families written about.”

His novel also explores the small cells of white liberals during this time period who were working toward integration and reform in Georgia.

“I don’t think that group has been given much attention,” Kytle said. “Especially in Georgia, they were quite influential, so I wanted to write about those people. At that time, you might lose your job if you were white and someone saw you shake hands with a black person. I wanted to say something about that small minority of white liberals who were working sort of undercover.”

Much of the book comes from Kytle’s own experiences growing up in South Carolina and Georgia during the Depression. Although the book is not autobiographical, Kytle said he drew on memories from his childhood to create the plot and to reference many of the significant artifacts of that time period he describes in the book.

“The period in my life that I know best is the 1930s,” he said. “My adolescence is the period that I am most confident writing about. I did rely on my memory of that period a lot.”

Kytle’s wife of more than 60 years, Elizabeth, is also an author. … In addition to her moral support, Elizabeth Kytle’s main contribution to the book was its title, “Like A Tree.” It refers to an old traditional hymn, “We Shall Not Be Moved,” used during the Civil Rights Movement. The chorus of the hymn is “Just like a tree that’s standing by the water/We shall not be moved.”

Read the full article at the Herald Sun website.

To learn more about Like a Tree, visit