Last night was a big author night in Atlanta.  We had Chris Bohjalian (SECRETS OF EDEN) at the Margaret Mitchell House, and Dolen Perkins-Valdez (WENCH) at the Barnes & Noble in Buckhead.  I got out to hear Chris after interviewing him for the Midtown Review podcast earlier in the day (look for the interview next week!) and our newest contributor Ana Raquel headed over to the B&N to meet Dolen:

New York Times bestselling author Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s made her first book tour stop here in Atlanta last night at the Barnes & Noble in Buckhead and I was lucky enough to get to chat with her and some of the event organizers!

Dolen says her mom was not happy with the title WENCH, due to it’s profane connotation, but it just felt right to her, so she went with it.  And though we’d never judge a book by it’s title alone, it has obviously worked.  In fact, according to Wil Ennis, the B&N Community Relations Manager, Kathryn Stockett, author of the New York Time bestseller,THE HELP, says  WENCH, was one of her favorite books of 2010.

Dolen’s idea for the book came from her research about the relationships between a wench and her master. Since much of the information she was looking for was lost to history, she decided that a fictional version was the way to go. The book explores issue of love between a slave, Lizzie, and her owner.

Two of the author’s sisters joined the good sized crowd that settled in for the talk.  Dolen talked about slavery in general, noting that it lasted for 236 years and then went on to read the first chapter and host a lively Q&A session.

For those interested, the newly released paperback includes a resource guide with a list of books on the topic.  Dolen closed the lecture stressing the importance of documenting oral history before it’s lost forever.

— Ana Raquel, Regular Contributor and Author Chaser!