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'Big Fish' author to speak at Huie event

By Staff
Staff Reports, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle's own William Bradford Huie, one of Alabama's bestselling authors, will be honored once again this year with the William Bradford Huie/ Alabama Collection April 10-12 at Snead State Community College.
Among this year's featured guests is "Big Fish" author Daniel Wallace.
He will be among those speaking on this year's theme, "Manuscript to Movie," featuring discussions on adapting books to film. Huie wrote several works which were adapted for six films, including "The Americanization of Emily" in 1964, starring Julie Andrews and James Garner, and "The Execution of Private Slovik" in 1974, an NBC made-for-television production starring Martin Sheen in one of his best career performances.
"The William Bradford Huie/Alabama Collection is an outstanding opportunity for the college to provide for the community a different perspective into the literary culture. We're honored to have Daniel Wallace and all of our special guests visit our campus for this important and enjoyable time," said Snead State Community College President Dr. Devin Stephenson.
Wallace will discuss both the book and the film, "Big Fish." The novel was selected for the annual Snead State Community Read, held during February and March. The Community Read program involves having the community, including libraries, study groups, civic clubs and schools, to read the same book.
Wallace was educated in Birmingham and has family associations in Cullman County. In addition to "Big Fish," Wallace is the author of "The Watermelon King" and "Ray in Reverse."
The William Bradford Huie event will begin April 10 with an afternoon of art, music and literature.
This year's art exhibit will feature freelance artist Scott Thigpen of Atlanta, Ga., whose work has been seen in numerous national and regional publications. Thigpen, a Guntersville native, attended Snead State before receiving his degree at Samford University. Art by Daniel Wallace will also be exhibited.
Martha Huie, widow of William Bradford Huie, will participate in the program. She was the head of Snead State's Art Department in the 1970s, and she and her husband maintained a home in Marshall County.
She now resides in Memphis, Tenn.
The Sunday schedule features W.L. Heath, author of "Violent Saturday," which was adapted for a movie of the same name; Wayne Greenhaw, who will provide an overview of the film industry in Alabama; and Bert Hitchcock of Auburn University, who will provide an overview of the "Borden Deal" and "Babs Deal" books made into movies. Huie, Heath and the Deals were original members of the Snead State Alabama Collection developed in the 1970s.
Heath grew up in Scottsboro and now lives in Guntersville. He has published eight books and numerous short stories. Three of his stories were made into television programs.
Hitchcock is a Hargis professor of American literature at Auburn University with a special interest in Alabama literature.
Greenhaw has published 16 books of fiction and nonfiction. As a columnist and reporter, he has published hundreds of articles in publications such as The New York Times and Atlantic Monthly.
Wallace and scholars Don Noble and Brian Kurlander will speak April 11 on the filming of "Big Fish" in Alabama. Noble is a retired professor of English and is Professor Emeritus at the University of Alabama. He hosts "Bookmark" on Alabama Public Television.
Kurlander is the director of public relations for Big Communications. He was the executive director of the Alabama Film Office, but his most defined success was the recruitment of the largest feature film in Alabama, "Big Fish."
Wallace and Noble will appear that Monday for the Community Read finale, and the duo will speak again Tuesday morning. Also on Tuesday morning, Rebecca Woodham, an Auburn doctoral student of Wayne Flynt, will discuss the career of Huie. Woodham teaches history at Auburn University Montgomery and at Wallace Community College Dothan.
All of the discussions will be led by scholar Steve Whitton, Noble, Hitchcock, Greenhaw and Woodham. The programs are open to the public free of charge.
The William Bradford Huie/Alabama Collection focuses on Alabama literary heritage and is held in conjunction with National Library Week.
William Bradford Huie had a long, distinguished career as a reporter, and he contributed articles to most of the major magazines of his time.
He was co-editor of "Longines Chronoscope," a television program based in New York City. He was also editor-publisher of the national magazine The American Mercury.
The William Bradford Huie/Alabama Collection is co-sponsored by the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has received support from the Hazel Roberts Memorial Fund. The Community Read with Daniel Wallace is funded through a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. CorrWireless, Community Bank and Randy Jones Insurance are corporate sponsors.