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Delta Blues signing 

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Delta Blues book signing with Suzanne Hudson and Alice Jackson

Saturday, June 12

Maple Street Books (7529 Maple St., 861-2105; www.maplestreetbookshop.com)

Mississippi is the epicenter of the blues and a fertile crescent to both the river's delta and the myth and soul behind the music. In Delta Blues (Tyrus Books), edited by Mississippi author and 2010 Harper Lee Award recipient Carolyn Haines, contributors bury crime fiction in the Deep South, weaving stories from the crossroads where iconic bluesman Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. Writers — including James Lee Burke, John Grisham, Charlaine Harris and David Sheffield — translate the blues storytelling tradition and mystery into 19 fully realized fictional narratives. Other contributors include Ace Atkins, Lynne Barrett, Suzann Ellingsworth, Beth Ann Fennelly, Bill Fitzhugh, Tom Franklin, Dean James, Toni L.P. Kelner, Nathan Singer, Michael Lister, Daniel Martine, Mary Saums and Les Standiford. Getting closer to the book's impetus, the writers formed a band, dubbed Blues Muse, for the project and performed at actor (and foreword writer) Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero blues club in Clarksdale, Miss. One dollar from each purchase of the book benefits Freeman's Rock River Foundation, which promotes literacy efforts. Delta Blues contributing writers Suzanne Hudson and Alice Jackson, a veteran journalist and longtime Mississippi resident, sign at the event. — Alex Woodward

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