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The Kudzu Queen Signing and Reading

November 29, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

In her pitch perfect debut novel, THE KUDZU QUEEN (Regal House; January 10, 2023; $19.95 trade paperback original; $9.99 Epub), writer and Kennedy Center teaching artist Mimi Herman introduces a heroine as sharp, spunky, and courageous as Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Mattie Lee Watson’s story and character developed as Herman learned about the kudzu bonanza that permeated the Southern U.S. in the 1930s and 40s. (Kudzu, a wildly invasive plant that grows up to a foot per day, also called ‘the vine that ate the South,’ was once thought to be a vibrant savior in Southern
agriculture; it was found to be the opposite, quickly overtaking and destroying native plants.)

In THE KUDZU QUEEN, Herman introduces James T. Cullowee, the self-proclaimed “Kudzu King” who arrives in 15-year-old Mattie’s hometown in Cooper County, North Carolina in 1941 to spread the gospel of kudzu—claiming that it will improve the soil, feed cattle at almost no cost, and even cure headaches. As Cullowee sets out to sell Cooper County on the future of kudzu, organizing a countywide festival capped off by the crowning of the Kudzu Queen, Mattie sets her sights on winning both the crown and Cullowee.

About the Author:
Mimi Herman is a Kennedy Center teaching artist, director of the United Arts Council Arts Integration Institute and co-director of Writeaways writing workshops in France, Italy, New Mexico and online. She has taught in the Masters of Education programs at Lesley University, served as the 2017 North Carolina Piedmont Laureate, and been an associate editor for Teaching Artist Journal.


November 29, 2022
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Flyleaf Books
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Flyleaf Books
752 MLK Jr. Blvd
Chapel Hill, 27514
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