WAYNE — Cary Memorial Library will welcome Cecilia Croft Clanton as she shares her new book “Cotton Mathis: Journey to Memphis” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, at the Williams House, across from the library, 17 Old Winthrop Road, according to a news release from the library.

Clanton’s talk will focus on her first-hand witness to the aftermath of one of the days that changed America forever: April 4, 1968, when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. Clanton will also share insights to her book, have a question/answer session and sign copies of her newly released book, according to the release.

News reporter Cecilia Clanton grew up near Memphis, and returned to her love of writing six years ago while spending time in Wayne. Much of the book’s extensive research and writing was done while in Wayne.

This historical fiction book follows Cotton Mathis as he joins the National Guard and is plunged into the midst of the civil rights movement and the racial tensions raging across the nation. When Cotton is deployed to Memphis, he encounters a black war hero and the soldier’s remarkable, book-loving father — a man who reignites Cotton’s long buried dreams. Faced with personal tragedy, betrayal and overwhelming anger in the aftermath of Dr. King’s assassination, Cotton faces a life-changing decision. Will he forgive and move on, or will he allow his family’s ghosts to haunt him forever?

Cecilia Clanton Bio

Cecilia Croft Clanton has written for the Springdale News, the Arkansas Gazette, and the Memphis Commercial Appeal after graduating from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Journalism. She owned and operated a landscape design business for 15 years and during that time did landscape design work for five major motion pictures. As an adult she returned to college and studied oil painting, then opened an art school for children and adults that has been in business for nearly 20 years. It is housed in an old building which was originally part of a cotton gin.

She now lives on a Mississippi farm, where she spends time in her oil-painting studio, minding her chickens and writing. Her annual summer visits to Wayne and Lake Androscoggin have become a life changing tradition.

A reception with light refreshments will follow this author talk. For more information, contact Cary Library at 685-3612 or Holly Stevenson at 685-9005.

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