Cushman brings 'Cherry Bomb' to LWB

Staff Writer

Mississippi author and Ole Miss graduate Susan Cushman is making a stop in West Point, Thursday, Dec. 7 to speak at Bryan Public Library and discuss her first novel, Cherry Bomb .
“Cherry Bomb is about a graffiti writer, an abstract expressionist painter, and a nun, set mostly in Georgia in the 1970s and ’80s,” said Cushman, a native of Jackson and a resident of Memphis. “It’s got weeping icons, art, and a bit of mystery, all in the Christ-haunted South.”

Lucille Armstrong, president of Friend of the Library said she is very excited to have the Mississippi native come to speak during Luncheon With Books, Thursday.
"We always enjoy extending an invitation to first-time authors," Armstrong said. "And those who Joe Lee speaks highly of are always welcome. 'Cherry Bomb' will be for sale in a first edition, signed, hard cover book."

Armstrong said Luncheon With Books is always a good way to give new authors a platform for their work. Especially for those native to Mississippi.
“It’s great to work with Susan and an honor to publish 'Cherry Bomb,” Joe Lee, Editor-in-Chief of Dogwood Press said. “This is highly visual writing, with deeply complex characters – like Mare and Elaine, who will get under your skin and stay there. Like any powerful literary work, it will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will make you think.”

The following is a synopsis of "Cherry Bomb."
By the age of sixteen, Mary Catherine Henry has lived through enough horror to last a lifetime. Sexual abuse at the hands of her cult-leading father, abandonment by her drug-addicted mother (who nicknamed her Mare), and several spirit-crushing years with a dysfunctional foster family convince her that life on the streets will be easier, than what she has always known. What keeps Mare going is the budding artist inside her. The sleepy Southern town of Macon, Georgia, does not know what hit them when colorful graffiti bombs begin appearing on abandoned buildings. Mare even dares to decorate a Catholic church with a highly provocative message. The young runaway signs her work "Cherry Bomb," attracts the attention of the local media. She is soon caught but not by police. A photographer for Rolling Stone learns of Mare while on assignment, finds her, and befriends her. So does a reporter for The Macon News and, eventually, the priest of the parish whose walls Mare defaced so angrily. Their efforts help earn her a scholarship at prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design. There she studies under legendary Abstract Expressionist painter Elaine de Kooning. It is a wonderful mentoring relationship, until Mare and Elaine discover they have much more in common than a love of art. And that bond, which forces both women to deal with pain and anger from their repressed pasts, threatens to tear them apart. "Cherry Bomb" is a mix of remarkably visual characters and an intricate, compelling plot rich with intriguing religious imagery.

“I can’t wait to share this novel six years in the making, with my readers,” Cushman said, “and I look forward to visiting with everyone in the Clay County area.”

Luncheon With Books begins at noon, Thursday, Dec. 7, with lunch provided with a $6 donation to Friends of the Library.
For more information about Luncheon With Books, call 494-4782