This Thursday at the Murphy Library — documentary by Atlanta filmmaker about the only South Carolina novelist to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Posted October 17, 2011on:
Writers, photographers and filmmakers are a valuable natural resource as they chronicle the times they live in. In 2010, my friend Gayla Jamison, an Atlanta-based, North Carolina-born filmmaker, made a documentary about one of photographer Doris Ulmann’s friends. She was writer Julia Peterkin, who, in 1929, became the only South Carolinian to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
With Gayla Jamison’s special permission, the Murphy Library is showing “The World of Julia Peterkin: Cheating the Stillness” at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday. It runs 57 minutes and is suitable young and old.
Julia Peterkin was born in 1880. A few years after graduating from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina (where filmmaker Jamison is also an alumna) Peterkin married a cotton farmer and went to live on Lang Syne, a 1,500 acre plantation in the South Carolina midlands. The 400 African-American workers on the plantation became her friends, and soon were the subjects of her short stories and novels.
Moreover, when her writing brought her to New York, Peterkin met Doris Ulmann, who was already spending time taking photographs at the John C. Campbell Folk School and in Brasstown. Peterkin introduced her to the African American Gullah culture. The result? Ulmann’s photographic masterpiece “Roll, Jordan, Roll” with the text written by Peterkin.
Whether you’re a writer or photographer or just love words and pictures, don’t miss this special film. Call 837-2417 for details.