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Ghost Boys

Award-winning novelist Jewell Parker Rhodes will be coming to Claflin University as part of Claflin’s Lyceum Series on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.

Rhodes is the author of the middle-grade books "Ghost Boys," "Towers Falling" and the Louisiana Girls Trilogy: "Ninth Ward," "Sugar" and "Bayou Magic." Her adult fiction books include: "Voodoo Dreams," "Magic City," "Douglass’ Women," "Season," "Moon" and "Hurricane." Her nonfiction books include: "Free Within Ourselves: Fiction Lessons for Black Authors," "The African American Guide to Writing" and Publishing Nonfiction" and "Porch Stories: A Grandmother’s Guide to Happiness."

She is also the Virginia G. Piper Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at Arizona State University.

Rhodes has received numerous honors including: the American Book Award, the National Endowment of the Arts Award in Fiction, the Black Caucus of the American Library Award for Literary Excellence, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for Outstanding Writing and the Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

In addition to her evening event at Claflin on Feb. 5, Rhodes will also be attending one additional event with students from the local Orangeburg community.

Dr. Belinda Wheeler, associate professor of English and member of Claflin’s Lyceum committee, said, “We are delighted to bring Jewell to Claflin and the wider Orangeburg community this February. Jewell is a good friend of mine, and it has always been my dream to bring her to our lovely campus.”

She added, “Claflin has been a great supporter of her visit. The Lyceum committee chair Dr. Peggy S. Ratliff all the way up to and including President Tisdale strongly supported bringing Jewell to campus.”

In preparation for the novelist's upcoming visit, Wheeler is giving away multiple copies of Rhodes' current New York Times bestselling book, "Ghost Boys."

“Jewell and I want to get as many copies of her books into the hands of young Orangeburg readers,” Wheeler said. “This is an excellent way to promote holiday reading and give students a chance to read Jewell’s work prior to her visit.”

To apply for a copy of "Ghost Boys," local students of all ages are asked to write a short note or draw a picture that highlights their excitement about reading Rhodes’ latest book. Entries should be sent to Dr. Belinda Wheeler, English Department – GTK 216, Claflin University, 400 Magnolia St., Orangeburg, SC 29115.

For general information about Claflin’s Lyceum Series, contact Dr. Peggy S. Ratliff at 803-535-5233 or email

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