By MATT CRANE
The empowering story of Wangari Maathai is capturing the attention of Starkville and Mississippi State University.
On Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Starkville Public Library, author and MSU English professor Michael Kardos will host a presentation and discussion on “Unbowed: A Memoir” by Maathai, the fourth Maroon Edition book selection.
The event is sponsored by Starkville Reads, and President Marty Friend said she is excited about the evening and working with Kardos again.
“It’s going to be a wonderful night,” Friend said. “We’ll be giving away door prizes including a copy of ‘Unbowed’ and a copy of Dr. Kardos’ new book (‘The Three-Day Affair’).”
Kardos said his presentation will analyze the literary elements of “Unbowed,” discussing, in particular, the reasoning behind the author’s inclusion of certain life events in telling her story. He said he is grateful for the opportunity to work with the Maroon Edition.
“The Maroon Edition is a great way to get lots of people focused on a single book,” he said. “Getting a whole university and town together on something like this creates a real strength in the community.”
Maroon Edition and Starkville Reads committee member Nancy Hargrove said Kardos has been involved with every Maroon Edition selection thus far.
“He a terrific speaker and is very good at leading these discussion,” Hargrove said. “He’s a colleague of mine in the English department and he is such a wonderful writer.”
Hargrove said one of the reasons behind the memoir’s selection came from a desire to focus on different locations from previous book.
“Last year we had a novel by Eudora Welty that focused on Mississippi,” she said. “We wanted to pick a totally different location.”
Hargrove said the story of Maathai living in Kenya and achieving the things she did in her lifetime was very inspirational.”
“She founded the Green Belt Movement which has planted millions of trees throughout Africa … and she was able to achieve some very impressive political offices,” she said. “I like the title, too, because she refused to give up and submit and bow down to the forces of her time and place.”
Starkville Reads is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting books and reading in the community. It sponsors numerous programs each year and distributes books to area schools, libraries and other venues. Starkville Reads members are grateful to the Starkville Rotary Club and to the Starkville Area Arts Council for grants as well as to numerous individuals for their contributions.
Kardos will present his discussion of “Unbowed: A Memoir” on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. in the Starkville Public Library.
For more information on the Maroon Edition and its fall events, visit http://www.maroonedition.msstate.edu .