Price Caldwell Visiting Writers Series brings award-winning novelist to MSU

Contact: Madison Welzbacher

Portrait of Deborah Johnson
Deborah Johnson (Photo submitted)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Acclaimed novelist Deborah Johnson will be the featured spring guest on Tuesday [March 29] for Mississippi State’s Price Caldwell Visiting Writers Series.

Johnson will give a public reading, free to all, at 5:30 p.m. in the Turner A. Wingo Auditorium at Old Main Academic Center. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow.

Currently an instructor with Stanford University’s online writing program, Johnson is the author of two novels, “The Secret of Magic” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2014) and “The Air Between Us” (Amistad, 2009), both of which have appeared in numerous recommended reading lists. “The Secret of Magic” won the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, while “The Air Between Us” was awarded the 2010 Mississippi Library Association Award for Fiction.

The Columbus resident now is writing her third book to be titled “Washington and Leigh.”

Originally from Missouri, Johnson was raised in Nebraska and went on to reside in such places as San Francisco and Rome, Italy, where she worked as a translator, doctoral theses editor, and a Vatican Radio broadcaster, before settling in Mississippi.

The Price Caldwell Visiting Writers Series was established through an endowment from Alice Carol Caldwell and family as a memorial to her late husband, an MSU professor of English who died in 2015. Caldwell was the founder and director of the university’s creative writing program, and he served as president and vice president of the Southern Literary Festival organization.

For more on Johnson and her work, visit

For more on MSU’s Department of English, visit

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