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The Atlantan Magazine + Paperback + Upcoming Flannery O'Connor Lecture

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Photo courtesy of SuthinGirl
It's been a while since I've posted. After nail biting our way through Weather Channel images of Hurricane Irma in direct line for Cuba, I'm happy to report that my mother-in-law Ana, who lives three blocks from the sea wall in Havana, is beginning to find her way back to semi-normal.  

Over the summer La Americana: A Memoir celebrated its first birthday with book club appearances in Savannah and Atlanta, which is always a special thing for me. 

I also joined childhood friend and Atlanta-based lifestyle ambassador Ashley Sparks Stamoulis aka SuthinGirl during her weekend takeover of The Atlantan Magazine's Instagram account.

She was showcasing our hometown's best of the best and we met up at beloved downtown bookstore E. Shaver to talk all things Savannah. I hadn't seen Ashley in years, but TV producer Sterling Eason had to rope us in as we giggled our way through various camera takes. 
Finally, we nailed a straight-faced Lightning Round, shooting off local favorites like PacciBack In the Day BakeryLocal 11ten and Leopold's Ice Cream with rapid-fire precision.
We even managed to get our hubbies on camera.
Signed copies of La Americana: A Memoir join a special curated set of products made in the South on Ashley's wondrous site SUTHINGIRL.com. A portion of all sales are donated to Education Cures, a nonprofit that provides education initiatives in impoverished countries.

What else? My paperback is out on November 14! Pre-order your copy on AmazonBarnes & Noble or via your favorite local/indie bookshop.

A few days later I'll give a talk at Flannery O'Connor's Childhood Home as part of the center's Fall 2017 Lecture Series:

"Exploring Flannery O'Connor's Themes in Modern-Day Cuba"
Melanie Bowden Simón -- author of the La Americana, an acclaimed memoir about her journey of discovery from Savannah to Havana -- will discuss how her own personal experiences in Cuba echoed Flannery O'Connor's remarkable power to find grace and beauty in life's darkest moments. Drawing on her own experiences with love and loss, Simón will share a universal story that resonates with Southern-inspired themes that define O'Connor's fiction.

*Lectures take place at 4 p.m. in the parlor of the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home, located at 207 E. Charlton Street on Lafayette Square in downtown Savannah. All lectures are free and open to the public.

Last up: "Half of my heart is in Havana..."
Friends keep texting over the new hit song "Havana" by Cuban-born Camila Cabello. Super catchy, it plays like a soundtrack to my book. Check out Camila's performance on Jimmy Fallon last week. 


Melanie Bowden Simón is a writer and publicist in Savannah, Georgia. Her #1 Kindle bestseller La Americana: A Memoir was named as one of Bustle's "21 Best Nonfiction Books of Summer 2016" and deemed "a fascinating and important read at this pivotal moment in US-Cuba relations" by NPR.

You can find more information on her website: www.melaniebowdensimon.com.