Celebrating Local Literary Community with Cynthia Newberry Martin & Susan Beckham Zurenda

Celebrating Local Literary Community with Cynthia Newberry Martin & Susan Beckham Zurenda

July 28th 2022 | 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Author Cynthia Newberry Martin is on a mission to celebrate independent bookstores and the literary communities that make them possible. That's why, when she set out to plan the author tour for the paperback release of her debut novel, Tidal Flats, as well as the 2023 release of two further novels, she decided to embark upon a "50 Indie Bookstore Book Tour." Her goal, as she puts it, is "to shout about the wonders of bookstores," "to raise up small and indie presses," and "to get together with writers and readers, old friends and new ones, in each of the 50 states." Here in the community of Spartanburg, Martin will join forces with beloved local author Susan Beckham Zurenda to celebrate the Hub City Bookshop, the Hub City Writers Project, and the local literary community that sustains and inspires us.

Join us in the Bookshop at 6pm on Thursday, July 28th to connect with both writers, to hear them read each other's work, and to celebrate our local literary landscape. This event is free and open to all, but save your spot with an RSVP!




About the Books

Tidal Flats by Cynthia Newberry Martin

In this elegant and honest novel, a young couple must navigate that fine line between the things they want for themselves and the the things they want together, and it appears each will have to make a choiceā€•the person they love or the life they want.

Mary Cassatt Miller, the director of an Atlanta home for older women, and famous photojournalist Ethan Graham want a life together. Despite Ethan’s work taking him to the streets of Afghanistan, he agrees that after three years, he will stop traveling.

But, nine weeks before their third anniversary, Cass is unsure whether Ethan will ever give up the work he loves. As the clock counts down, it doesn’t help that Singer, the artist-bartender, is always in Atlanta, and the enthralling Setara, the subject of Ethan’s most famous photograph, is also his business partner.

A new danger in Afghanistan changes everything. 


Bells for Eli by Susan Beckham Zurenda

First cousins Ellison (Eli) Winfield and Adeline (Delia) Green are meant to grow up happily and innocently across the street from one another amid the supposed wholesome values of small-town Green Branch, South Carolina, in the 1960s and 70s. But Eli's tragic accident changes the trajectory of their lives and of those connected to them. Shunned and even tortured by his peers for his disfigurement and frailty, Eli struggles for acceptance in childhood as Delia passionately devotes herself to defending him. Delia's vivid and compassionate narrative voice presents Eli as a confident young man in adolescence--the visible damage to his body gone--but underneath hides indelible wounds harboring pain and insecurity, scars that rule his impulses. And while Eli cherishes Delia more than anyone and attempts to protect her from her own troubles, he cares not for protecting himself. It is Delia who has that responsibility, growing more challenging each year.

Bells for Eli is a lyrical and tender exploration of the relationship between cousins drawn together through tragedy in a love forbidden by social constraints and a family whose secrets must stay hidden. Susan Beckham Zurenda masterfully transports readers into a small Southern town where quiet, ordinary life becomes extraordinary. In this compelling coming of age story, culture, family, friends, bullies, and lovers propel two young people to unite to guard each other in a world where love, hope, and connectedness ultimately triumph.


About the Authors

Cynthia Newberry Martin holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has served as the Review Editor for Contrary Magazine and the Writing Life Editor for Hunger Mountain. Her website features the How We Spend Our Days series, over a decade of essays by writers on their lives. She grew up in Atlanta and now lives in Columbus, Georgia, with her husband, and in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in a little house by the water. Tidal Flats is her first novel.

Susan Zurenda taught English for 33 years on the college level and at the high school level to AP students. Her debut novel, Bells for Eli (Mercer University Press, March 2020; paperback edition March 2021), has been selected the Gold Medal (first place) winner for Best First Book—Fiction in the 2021 IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Awards), a Foreword Indie Book Award finalist, a Winter 2020 Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, a 2020 Notable Indie on Shelf Unbound, a 2020 finalist for American Book Fest Best Book Awards, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for 2021. She has won numerous regional awards for her short fiction. She lives in Spartanburg, SC. 

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