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GCAC Presents: Celebrating a Local Literary Legacy

 Anne Touvell GCAC Presents: Celebrating a Local Literary Legacy
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James Thurber and Christabel.

The author of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and the creator of numerous New Yorker magazine cover cartoons was born in Columbus on December 8, 1894. The son of a civil clerk, no one would have guessed that James Thurber would grow up to become one of the foremost American humorists of the 20th century. Throughout his literary career, Thurber’s inimitable wit and pithy prose spanned a breadth of genres, including short stories, modern commentary, fiction, children’s fantasy and letters.

Today, Thurber House, Columbus’s nationally recognized literary center, continues to celebrate James Thurber’s literary legacy each year by inviting Ohio-connected authors to read from their latest works as part of the annual Summer Literary Picnic series. The setting summer sun provides a picturesque background for each event, where good friends and good books collide over a picnic-style dinner on the Thurber House lawn. Here’s what to expect from the 28th season:

On Wednesday, June 12, Alexis Wilson will tell the compelling story of a woman whose journey in life, and in love, has been equally as unusual and exceptional as the author herself when she reads from her memoir, Not So Black and White. The season takes a dark turn on Wednesday, June 26, as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Keller reads from her debut novel, A Killing in the Hills, the first in a new series that bestselling author Scott Turow has called “A gripping, beautifully crafted murder mystery.”

Former Dayton Daily News columnist Sharon Short takes the lawn on Wednesday, July 10, to read from her recently-published novel My One Square Inch of Alaska, which tells the story of how a brother and sister, and their beloved Siberian husky named Trusty, set off for the Alaska Territory on a journey of discovery, exploration and love.

Then, be prepared for goosebumps and chills on Wednesday, July 24, as John Kachuba, one of the foremost paranormal investigators working today, reads from Ghosthunting in Ohio: On the Road Again and maps out 25 ghostly spots to visit in the Buckeye State, including the home in which the lawn you’ll be listening from belongs. Charlene Fix will finish the season on Wednesday, August 7, reading from her latest book Harpo Marx as Trickster and introducing attendees to the most illusive of the Marx Brothers, Harpo.

The Thurber House Literary Picnics begin Wednesday, June 12th on the Thurber House lawn, 77 Jefferson Avenue.

Thurber House’s Summer Literary Picnics begin at 7 p.m. (Picnicking starts at 5:30: Catered boxed dinners are available for purchase ahead of time, or guests can bring their own; Guests also may bring their own wine and lawn chairs or blankets) and are held on the side lawn of Thurber House at 77 Jefferson Avenue. For ticket information and to purchase, call Thurber House at 614-464-1032, go in person to Thurber House, or purchase online at: www.thurberhouse.org.

GCAC Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting art and advancing culture in Columbus – in partnership with the Columbus Arts Marketing Association, a professional development and networking association of arts marketers. Each column will be written by a different local arts organization to give you an insiders look at the arts in Columbus.


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