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ASU 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 UnASU alumnus Mark Grisham will be signing copies of his new novel of the Civil War, "Bedlam South," along with his co-author David Donaldson, on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 2-3:30 p.m. at Cooper Alumni Center, 2600 Alumni Boulevard.iversity, 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.



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