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Dr. Nancy Hendricks to sign Caraway book at Dean B. Ellis Library Nov. 4

October 25, 2010 -- On Thursday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m. Dr. Nancy Hendricks will sign copies of her new book "Dear Mrs. Caraway, Dear Mr. Kays" at a special event on the Arkansas State University campus. Hendricks will appear at the third floor exhibitDr. Nancy Hendricks space of the Dean B. Ellis Library, 322 University Loop West Circle.

Along with opening a new exhibit of previously-unseen Caraway photos and letters, Hendricks will read from the book and sign copies, which will be available for sale. The book is based on the private correspondence between long-time Arkansas State president V. C. Kays and Hattie Caraway of Jonesboro, the first woman elected to the United States Senate. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase at the cash-only discounted price of $10.

Hendricks, director of ASU alumni communications, is an award-winning writer whose previous play, "Miz Caraway and the Kingfish," depicts Caraway's colorful 1932 election campaign with Louisiana Sen. Huey Long. Its New Orleans production was held over for an extended run and nominated by the American Critics Association for 'Best Play Produced Outside New York.' Hendricks has received the Pryor Award for Arkansas Women's History, the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award, and the White House Millennium Award for her writing.

For two years, Hendricks researched the Caraway material found in about a thousand documents in
Senator Hattie W. Caraway the V. C. Kays papers donated to the Arkansas State University Archives by his son Buddy Kays in 2001. Along with Caraway's role in securing the ROTC unit in the 1930s and an Army College Training Detachment at A-State during World War II, nine buildings were constructed on campus with her help during the Depression, four of which are still in use.

The book contains the full text of the Kays/Caraway letters which Hendricks used in writing her play of the same name which was presented recently as the grand finale of the ASU Centennial Celebration. It also refutes what Hendricks calls the 'Silent Hattie myth' that Caraway was ineffectual as a Senator. In addition, the book includes a rare interview with Caraway's granddaughter, her last living direct descendant, as well as previously-unseen photos from the Caraway family.

The book signing should have special appeal to those with an interest in history or politics. No reservations are necessary for this free event at the Dean B. Ellis Library. For more information contact April Sheppard at the Dean B. Ellis library at 870-972-2766.

Photos: top right, Dr. Nancy Hendricks,
bottom left, Senator Hattie W. Caraway.
Photos courtesy of Dr. Nancy Hendricks.

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