Atlanta, GA

Atlanta History Center to host discussion between 'Gone the Hard Road' Author Lee Martin and Jessica Handler

Sophie-Ann McCulloch

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The Atlanta History Center will be hosting a discussion between ‘Gone the Hard Road’ author Lee Martin with Jessica Handler in a virtual event this June 1st. The event will be free and open to the public.

The Pulitzer Prize finalist’s book ‘Gone the Hard Road’ is about his mother, Beulah Martin, and her patience and sacrifice as a mother who lives on a farm in the countryside. Despite the hardships she faced, Beulah could still offer the gift of imagination to her son.

The story unfolds as Martin’s mother created a world for him within their unsettled family life. The book recounts the first time Beulah read him a book at a doctor’s office waiting room, leading to her enrolling her son in a children’s book club, until the moment she bought him the first book during his teenage years in high school.

‘Gone the Hard Road’ is a written testament to the selflessness of Martin’s mother, as their family moved from one place to another in America’s Midwest, all the while struggling with domestic issues. But instead of focusing on the domestic struggle narrative, ‘Gone the Hard Road’ presents a counternarrative of a selfless mother and the imagination she nurtured within him.

Lee Martin is the Pulitzer Prize Finalist author of ‘The Bright Forever.’ He is the winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council. Lee also authored ‘Yours, Jean,’ ‘The Mutual UFO Network,’ and ‘Late One Night’, among others. Martin teaches in the MFA Program at the Ohio State University, where he is a Distinguished Professor.

On the other hand, Jessica Handler is the author of ‘The Magnetic Girl’ and the author of several nonfiction books ‘Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief’ and ‘Invisible Sisters: A Memoir.’ Handler’s essays and nonfiction pieces have appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Drunken Boat, Full Grown People, Brevity, The Bitter Southerner, Electric Literature, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and More Magazine. Handler is an English lecturer at the Oglethorpe University in Atlanta and lectures in writing classes internationally.

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