Friday, March 23, 2012

Charlaine donates Sookie Manuscripts to Ole Miss : Author Who Inspired ‘True Blood’ Donates Manuscripts

OXFORD, Miss. – Charlaine Harris, author of the books that inspired the HBO series “True Blood,” has donated several edited manuscripts to Archives and Special Collections at the University of Mississippi’s J.D. Williams Library.

“Though I’ve lived in many wonderful places in the South, it only seemed right that my work found a home in Mississippi, my state of origin,” Harris said. “No matter how many places I live, I was born and bred in the flat fields of the Mississippi Delta, and it’s a part of me.”

Harris, a New York Times bestselling author, has released more than 30 novels in the urban fantasy genre. She began writing plays while attending Rhodes College in Memphis, and was first published in 1981 with the novel “Sweet and Deadly.”

In 2001 she released “Dead Until Dark,” the first in the Sookie Stackhouse series. The series, whose main character is a telepathic waitress in northern Louisiana, was the inspiration for hit HBO vampire series “True Blood.”

Jennifer Ford, director of Special Collections, finds one of Harris’s manuscripts to be very intriguing.

“One of the most interesting aspects of the collection is a typed, annotated manuscript, which was the first manuscript Charlaine sent out,” Ford said. “It is entitled, ‘Dead Dog by the Side of the Road.’”

The donation is a great addition to the university’s collection, said Chris Offutt, assistant professor of English who has written two manuscripts for “True Blood.”

“It’s always great when a writer’s original manuscripts are part of a special collection,” Offutt said. “They are then available to writers and scholars for careful scrutiny. The University of Mississippi is fortunate to have them. A big thanks to Charlaine for her generous gift.”

Ford is grateful to Harris for her unique donation.

“This donation is so important to Special Collections because it adds so much to our literary collections,” Ford said. “Charlaine is a major talent whose work ethic is reflected in her collection.”