Contact: Robert Marczynski
March 25, 2014 - Best-selling author Hampton Sides returns to his native Memphis to
read from his collection of works and discuss narrative writing in the digital age
at the next Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities Lecture on April 3 at the University
The lecture will begin at 6 p.m. in the University Center Theatre with a welcoming
reception at 5:30 p.m. in the theatre lobby.
The event is free and open to the public.
The author of six books and numerous magazine articles will talk about his inspirations,
his writing process and his hopes for reinvigorating the narrative tradition despite
the hostility leveled at narrative history by some academic historians. In his talk
"Telling Stories: The Art and Craft of Narrative History," Sides will argue that the
secret to making people care about their history comes down to two words: tell stories.
His visit to Memphis on the eve of the 46th anniversary of the assassination of Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. is especially appropriate given that his book, Hellhound on
His Trail, provides a gripping account of the assassination and international manhunt
for James Earl Ray.
Sides' other works have also merited national and international acclaim. His World
War II narrative Ghost Soldiers sold more than a million copies, was translated into
a dozen foreign languages and was the basis for the 2005 Miramax film The Great Raid.
Blood and Thunder, the story of controversial frontiersman Kit Carson, was named one
of the 10 Best Books of 2006 by Time magazine.
He is an editor-at-large for Outside Magazine and has written for such periodicals
as National Geographic, The New Yorker, Esquire, Preservation and Men's Journal. His
work has bee nominated twice for National Magazine Awards for feature writing.
His lecture is a part of the River City Writers Series and is co-sponsored by the
University of Memphis' literary magazine, The Pinch; the Department of English, including
The Creative Writing Program and The Literature Concentration; the Department of History,
the Department of Journalism, The Benjamin Hooks Institute for Social Change, The
Hohenberg Foundation and University of Memphis Public Service Funds.
Information on this event or the Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities is available