In 1964, Charles Portis cut short a career in journalism after a 4-year stint at the New York Herald Tribune, returned home to a cabin on the White River (or, as Portis’ colleague Tom Wolfe put it: “A fishing shack! In Arkansas!”) and wrote what turned out to be the 176-page comedy that would propel Portis’ career as a novelist: “Norwood.”
To honor the 50th anniversary of this pivotal work, the Oxford American magazine has assembled several of Portis’ more famous fans for a celebration at South on Main featuring readings from the book, as well as food and music referenced therein: humorists Roy Blount, Jr. and Harrison Scott Key, singer-songwriter Tift Merritt, Prairie Home Companion’s sound effects whiz Fred Newman, and the magazine’s own Jay Jennings.
The event takes place Sunday, July 31 at 7 p.m., and tickets can be purchased at 800-293-5949, or at the Metrotix link here. Doors open at 6 p.m. for patrons to procure Norwood-themed food and drink, and a portion of the evening’s proceeds will go to support the Oxford American, a nonprofit literary magazine.