Every student at Bledsoe County High School received a copy of Big Fish, written by best-selling Southern author Daniel Wallace, in preparation for the writer’s visit to the school in April. This purchase of 530 copies of the novel was made possible through grant funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission and additional financial support from Chattanooga State’s Humanities Department.
Mr. Wallace’s upcoming visit to Bledsoe County High School on April 9 is a part of his involvement in Chattanooga State’s Writers@Work series which celebrates Southern literature by integrating the work of selected authors into the curriculum of the department's Composition Two course. Each year, the nearly 1,500 students enrolled in Composition Two engage in activities focused around a specific work while practicing critical course skills. Every spring, the W@W featured author comes to Chattanooga to share his or her work and writing experience with the faculty, staff, and students of Chattanooga State and the general public.
Past W@W authors include an impressive lineup of nationally-recognized and best-selling Southern authors, including Terry Kay, Jill McCorkle, Lila Quintero Weaver, Rick Bragg, George Singleton, Ron Rash, Robert Morgan, Tom Franklin, Beth Ann Fennelly, and Chattanooga’s own Ishmael Reed. The 2017 W@W author, Tayari Jones, recently received the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work–Fiction for her novel, An American Marriage, which was also a 2018 Oprah's Book Club Selection.
This year’s Writers@Work installment features Daniel Wallace and his novel Big Fish, which Publishers Weekly describes as featuring “a plainspoken style dotted with transcendent passages” and possessing “the transformative quality of fable and fairy tale,” stating that “the novel's roomy structure allows the mystery and lyricism of the story to coalesce.”
Mr. Wallace’s novel will be celebrated in a week-long series of events including readings, interviews, a meeting with students at Bledsoe County High School on April 9, a discussion of the film adaptation of the novel, and a production of Big Fish: The Musical by Chattanooga State’s Theatre Department.
For more information on the program or this year’s events, please visit the program’s website at www.chattbigread.com.