The Lilly Library will host a gala event to celebrate the life and work of renowned Bloomington author Ross Lockridge, Jr., and his iconic novel, Raintree County. This free event takes place April 10, beginning at 2:30 p.m. with a film screening of Raintree County at the IU Cinema followed by an after party at 5:30 p.m. at the Lilly Library. Several members of Lockridge's family will be in attendance, including his son and IUP author, Larry.
IU Libraries Dean Brenda L. Johnson, Mayor Mark Kruzan, and Lilly Library Manuscripts Curator Cherry Williams will all speak at the 5:30 event. Mayor Kruzan will be proclaiming April 7-13 "Ross Lockridge, Jr. Week" in Bloomington in recognition of Lockridge's work and his strong ties to the community.
The event is part of the Lilly Library exhibit "Raintree County: A Celebration of the Life and Work of Ross Lockridge, Jr." The exhibit, which runs through May 19, explores the development of Lockridge's first novel and how it was inspired by Henry County, Indiana, and the history of the author's extended family.
Raintree County was the publishing event of 1948. Excerpted in Life magazine, it was a Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection, won MGM's Novel Award and a movie deal, and stood at the top of the nation's bestseller lists. Unfortunately, Lockridge's first novel was also his last. Two months after its publication the 33-year-old author took his own life. His son Larry was five years old at the time.
Larry's book Shade of the Raintree is being rereleased in conjunction with the April 25, 2014 centennial of his father's birth. Shade of the Raintree is Larry’s search for an understanding of his father's baffling act. In this powerfully narrated biography, Larry Lockridge uncovers a man of great vitality, humor, love, and visionary ambition, but also of deep vulnerability. The author manages to combine a son's emotional investments with a sleuth's dispassionate inquiry. The result is an exhilarating, revelatory narrative of an American writer's life.
Copies of Shade of the Raintree will be sold at the event, and Larry will be available to sign copies beforehand.
We are also giving away one copy of the book from now until April 10. Fill out the entry form below for your chance to win!