Ed Bethune, a former congressman and University of Arkansas at Little Rock alumnus, will help raise scholarship funds while discussing his latest book at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the UALR Bailey Alumni and Friends Center.
“A Pearl for Kizzy,” a World War II-era novel, awakens readers to the life, times, and intrigues of poor pearl farmers and mussel hunters living in Northeast Arkansas during the 1940s.
During the Oct. 25 event that’s free and open to the public, Bethune will give a short lecture and sign copies of the book. Wine and cheese also will be served, and student performers such as state champion fiddler Emily Phillipsand runner-up Everett Elam, a UALR graduate, will provide entertainment at the Bailey Center Engel Hall. Faculty member Meredith Hicks also is scheduled to perform.
The event is sponsored by the UALR Alumni Association in conjunction with the College of Social Science and Communications, KUAR/KLRE and the UALR Departments of Rhetoric and Writing and Mass Communication.
Net proceeds from book sales during this event will go to the George Douthit Endowed Scholarship to help develop careers of future journalists and writers studying at UALR.
In a description of the book, Bethune wrote, “Kizzy, a spirited child, lives with her family on a one-room ramshackle houseboat in Big Pearl, Arkansas. They fish, dig for mussels, look for pearls, and sell the shells to the button factory. It is a crude life made harder by the Great Depression, natural disasters, and prejudice … .”
Bethune also has written a memoir, “Jackhammered, a Life of Adventure,” and another novel, “Gay Panic in the Ozarks,” a courtroom thriller.