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alum Mark Grisham to hold book signing at Cooper Alumni Center Dec. 6
Nov. 26, 2008 --
Mark Grisham, an
alumnus and former football player at Arkansas State University,
will visit the Cooper Alumni Center, 2600 Alumni Boulevard, for a book
signing of his and writing partner and life-long friend David
Donaldson’s Civil War-based story, “Bedlam South,” Saturday, Dec. 6,
from 2-3:30 p.m.
Grisham, who attended ASU in the early 1980s, will do a brief reading
from the book, provide descriptions and information about the
characters, and take questions from the audience. Copies of the book
with the author’s signature may be purchased at the event.
Bedlam South,” a historical novel about the Civil War and the chaos and
uncertainty it unleashed on the lives of Southerners, is set in the
heart of the Confederacy and shows how everyday people grappled with the
brutality of war. The book examines the significant toll the war took on
the mental health of everyday citizens as they lived with the constant
threat of losing their families, their freedom and even their lives.
The story begins in 1862, as Dr. Joseph Bryarly leaves England to return
to America and head Wingate Asylum, a hospital for war criminals and the
mentally insane. When he arrives in Virginia, he launches into his own
personal war as he attempts to overthrow Captain Samuel Percy, a cruel,
cold-hearted Confederate who has taken charge of the decrepit
asylum—known as “Bedlam South”—and begun terrorizing its inmates.
Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, 17-year-old Zeke Gibson from
Mississippi joins his brother, Corporal Billy Gibson, on the front
lines. In the midst of heavy fighting at Gettysburg, they are separated.
Each fearing that the other is dead, they embark upon separate journeys
that bring them to the brink of insanity as they contend with the
horrifying brutality of the war and unwittingly become entwined with the
fate of Dr. Bryarly.
Lifelong residents of Mississippi, Grisham and Donaldson have known each
other since grade school. Following high school, their schooling took
them in separate directions. Grisham attended Arkansas State, where he
played football and majored in history. He is self-employed and sells
heavy construction equipment parts. Donaldson attended Memphis State
University and earned a PhD from Trinity Seminary. When they returned to
their hometown, the two decided to try their hands at writing a novel
together. Grisham’s love of the Civil War and southern history, combined
with Donaldson’s fascination with psychology and mental health, led them
to write “Bedlam South.” They have recently completed their second
novel, “Chiasson,” about the period preceding the Civil War as momentum
for the secession was building.
For additional information, contact
Dr. Nancy Hendricks, Director
of Alumni Communications, at (870) 972-2451.