BPL Hosting 3 Author Talks This Weekend at Central, Avondale Libraries

Flyer of Local Author Talk with Terry Barkley of Twilight of the Confederacy on Saturday, February 25, starting at 11:00 a.m.

Marcia Herman-Giddens discusses her memoir at Central Library at 3:00 p.m., February 25 

The Birmingham Public Library (BPLis hosting three author talks this weekend -two at Central Library on Saturday and another at Avondale Regional Library on Sunday. 

On Saturday, February 25, the Central Library will host two book talks. At 11:00 a.m., Terry Barkley, author of Twilight of the Confederacy, discusses his Civil War-era book about the Alabama Corps of Cadets and the burning of the University of Alabama by federal troops. 

At 3:00 p.m. Saturday at the Central Library, Marcia Herman Giddens discusses her memoir about coming of age in Birmingham during the Civil Rights Movement, Unloose My Heart: A Personal Reckoning with the Twisted Roots of My Southern Family Tree

 At 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 26 at Avondale Regional Library, Auburn University historian Wayne Flynt discusses his new book, Afternoons with Harper Lee. The book details conversations he had with his friend Lee, the late Alabama novelist famous for her bestseller To Kill a Mockingbird

Central Library

2100 Park Pl, Birmingham, AL 35203

Book talk by Terry Barkley, author of Twilight of the Confederacy, 11:00 a.m. - noon, Saturday, February 25, 2023

Please join us at the Central Library as local author Terry Barkley discusses his new book, Twilight of the Confederacy: The Alabama Corps of Cadets and the Burning of the University of Alabama.

Many Alabamians today may not be aware that, during the Civil War, the University of Alabama became a military school complete with a commandant, a cadet corps, and daily drill instruction. By 1865, the last year of the war, the Alabama Corps of Cadets numbered 300 and consisted mostly of fifteen and sixteen-year-old boys.

Charged with defending Tuscaloosa, the young members of the corps found themselves in April of 1865 facing a well-seasoned force of 1,500 U.S. Calvary troops that were determined to destroy both the city's manufacturing industries and the military school at the University of Alabama. Being outnumbered and outmaneuvered, the cadets were easily defeated and forced to retreat. The federal forces, having dispatched their resistance, proceeded to achieve their goal by capturing Tuscaloosa and burning most of the University. Little did both sides know at the time, this would prove to be one of the last military actions of the war. 

In Twilight of the Confederacy, Mr. Barkley utilizes archival, primary, and secondary sources to tell the story of the Alabama Corps of Cadets and their service during the Civil War. 

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing by the author. For more information, please contact Jim Murray by email at jim.murray@cobpl.org or by phone at 205-226-3640.

Book Talk with Marcia Herman-Giddens, author of Unloose My Heart, Saturday, February 25, 3:00–4:00 p.m.

Join author Marcia Herman-Giddens as she discusses her memoir, Unloose My Heart: A Personal Reckoning with the Twisted Roots of My Southern Family Tree. Her book interweaves the story of her youth and coming of age in Birmingham during the Civil Rights Movement with this quest to understand exactly who and what her maternal ancestors were and her obligations as a white woman within a broader sense of an American family.

Avondale Regional Branch Library

509 40th St S, Birmingham, AL 35222

 On Sunday, February 26, starting at 2:00 p.m., the Birmingham Public Library will host historian Wayne Flynt at the Avondale Regional Branch Library, where he will discuss his new book Afternoons with Harper Lee. The event is free and open to the public. The book will be available for purchase and signing courtesy of Thank You Books.

The book recounts conversations that the author and his wife had over 64 visits with Lee in an assisted living facility. Lee and the Flynts share their love of literature, especially the novelist Jane Austin, and a fascination with Alabama history and their families' places in that history.

Afternoons with Harper Lee is part biography and part memoir of a friendship. Harper Lee was not a recluse or a misanthrope. But she was intensely private and uncomfortable with her fame. Wayne Flynt shares his experiences and insights on one of America's most beloved authors.

The February 26 talk at Avondale Library continues a 40-city multi-state book tour Wayne Flynt kicked off last fall. 

Flynt taught history at Auburn University for 30 years, and remains professor emeritus of history there. Flynt was a longtime friend of Harper Lee, and even delivered the eulogy at the famed author's funeral in 2016. 

For more information on the program, contact Jim Baggett at 205-266-3631 or jim.baggett@cobpl.org