Demopolis library announces Addie Pray Day

The Demopolis Public Library is excited to announce a community read featuring the novel Addie Pray. The goal of the community read is to spark community dialog through a shared reading experience.

Joe David Brown’s 1971 novel “Addie Pray” begins: They say my mama, Miss Essie Mae Loggins, was the wildest girl in Marengo County, Alabama.

After her mother dies in a scandalous accident on the Black Warrior River, Addie teams up with Mose Pray, nicknamed “Long Boy,” to engage in a career of con games beginning in Demopolis and going north to Decatur “a few years before and after Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President for the first time.”

One of America’s most endearing Southern novels of the 1970s, Addie Pray was made into one of the decade’s most popular films by Director Peter Bogdanovich in 1973 with Ryan O’Neal and Tatum O’Neal, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Addie. The film was re-titled “Paper Moon” and the locales were moved to Kansas.

Addie is not in Kansas anymore. For Addie Pray Day, she returns to her home, Marengo County, for a book discussion and readings by some of Alabama’s most prominent literary scholars and authors. Demopolis natives Bert Hitchcock (Albert Murray and the Aesthetic Imagination of A Nation) and novelist Billy Cobb (A Walk Through Fire) lead the discussions and readings from Addie Pray throughout the day including performances from the book by The Alabama Readers Theatre with Don Noble, the host of Alabama Public Television’s popular Bookmark. The events conclude with a free screening of the Oscar-winning film in the Demopolis High School auditorium.

These events are presented in conjunction with the Smithsonian Exhibit, The Way We Worked, at the Marengo County History and Archives Museum by the Museum, the Demopolis Public Library, the Marengo County Historical Society, the Two Rivers Arts Council, the Canebrake Players, the Tiger Arts Guild and the Southern Literary Trail with grant support from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state agency of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Place: Demopolis, Alabama, Public Library and Demopolis High School

Admission: Free for all events

Information: Call the Library at 334-289-1595.

Places and Times:

 • Noon at the Demopolis Public Library for “Lunch at the Library” with a discussion of “Addie Pray” by Dr. Bert Hitchcock  

 • 6:30 p.m. in the Demopolis High School Auditorium for the Alabama Readers Theatre presentation of excerpts from Joe David Brown’s “Addie Pray”  

 • 7:30 p.m. A showing of “Paper Moon” with Ryan O’Neal, Tatum O’Neal and Madeline Kahn in the Demopolis High School Auditorium