Jack Butler at the Library Lounge

Jack Butler, author of Jujitsu for Christ, will be reading from his book on Wednesday, April 17 at 6:30 at the Library Lounge at the Fairview Inn. This is the first event in a new series called Readings at the Library – a collaboration between Lemuria Books and the Fairview Inn. 

John Swanson, head bartender at the Library Lounge, was actually the person who suggested the idea as a way to entertain guests while staying with the overall theme of the Library Lounge. 

Ellery Strickin, marketing coordinator at the Fairview Inn, adds, “We want to share the appreciation we have for southern culture and the amazing literature that has been created in our home state. We also wanted to partner with Lemuria Books to show our support for other local businesses in Jackson.” 

“In the future, we hope to feature a different author each month. If the readings are received well by our guests, we would like to host a ‘dinner with the author’ event as well. For our guests that would enjoy more interaction with these writers, we would like to offer the opportunity to share a meal with them.” 

UPM is proud to be a part of this event featuring Jujitsu for Christ. Originally published in 1986, the novel follows the adventures of Roger Wing, a white born-again Christian and karate instructor who opens a martial arts studio in downtown Jackson, Mississippi, during the tensest years of the Civil Rights era. Ambivalent about his religion and his region, he befriends the Gandy’s, an African-American family: parents A.L. and Snower Mae, teenaged son T.J., daughter Eleanor Roosevelt, and youngest son Marcus, who have moved to Jackson from the Delta in hopes of great opportunity for their children. 

As political tensions mount, Roger and the Gandy’s find their lives intersecting in unexpected ways. Their often-hilarious interactions are told against the backdrop of Mississippi’s racial trauma—Governor Ross Barnett’s “I Love Mississippi” speech at the 1962 Ole Miss-Kentucky football game in Jackson; the riots that followed at the University of Mississippi, over James Meredith’s admission there; the fieldwork of Medgar Evers, the NAACP, and various activist organizations; the lingering aura of Emmett Till’s lynching. 

Jack Butler is originally from Alligator, Mississippi, and is the author of West of Hollywood: Poems From a Hermitage, Hawk Gumbo and Other Stories, The Kid Who Wanted to Be a Spaceman, Nightshade, Living in Little Rock with Miss Little Rock, Dreamer: A Novel, and Jack's Skillet: Plain Talk and Some Recipes From a Guy in the Kitchen.