Author Mandy Mikulencak, a 1988 journalism graduate of Texas A&M University, will speak at two events in College Station on Monday, Jan. 22, as part of the launch of her newest novel, The Last Suppers.
Passion and Purpose — Being the Architect of Your Own Life
11:30am – 12:30pm
AgriLife Center on the Texas A&M Campus, 556 John Kimbrough Blvd., College Station
The author’s rural roots, 4-H involvement, and journalism degree from Texas A&M led to a career in nonprofit work locally, nationally, and internationally. In 2009, she began writing fiction. Attendees will learn how she channeled her passion for writing into a second career as an author, persevering in an industry known for both rejection and reward. The lecture is open to the public.
AUTHOR TALK & BOOK SIGNING
7 – 8pm
Barnes & Noble, 711 Texas Ave., College Station
ABOUT THE BOOK
Set in 1950s Louisiana, Mandy Mikulencak’s beautifully written and emotionally moving novel evokes both The Help and Dead Man Walking with the story of an unforgettable woman whose quest to provide meaningful meals for death row prisoners eads her into the secrets of her own past. Although it takes place decades ago, The Last Suppers raises issues that are all-too timely – racism, poverty, capital punishment and prisoners’ rights.
“A haunting study of race relations, compassion, and mystery. A must read.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
“A serious book, beautifully written, that explores the effect of ruinous family secrets. It’s about race, death and the lives we lead, sometimes against our better judgment… The novel itself is a stew filled with touchstones of our past—like the Ku Klux Klan—that some would rather ignore. The Last Suppers is compelling and very very real.”
—The New York Journal of Books
Many people are fascinated by the idea of last meals for death row inmates, and while there are many nonfiction books on the subject, this is one of the only novels to explore it. This story is told from the perspective of a compassionate prison cook who understands the meals are not about the food, but about the memories tied to the inmate’s requests.
The book spans the 1930s through the 1950s in Louisiana, with underlying themes of race, poverty, capital punishment and Southern social mores of the time. The book is sure to spark discussion on capital punishment, prisoners’ rights and the ramifications for the families of both the victims and death row inmates. Food is a central character in the novel; an appendix of recipes from the 1930s-1950s featured in the book allows readers to explore this dimension.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mandy Mikulencak (pronounced “micka-len-check”) has been a writer her entire working life. First, as a journalist then as an editor and PR specialist for two national nonprofits and a United Nations agency. She grew up in Central Texas. Today she lives in the mountains of Southwest Colorado with her husband, Andy. She writes young adult and adult fiction. Her first book, Burn Girl, has been honored with a 2016 Westchester Fiction Award. Readers can visit Mandy online at: www.MandyMikulencak.com.