Literary novelist to sign copies of new book
Waynesboro author Inman Majors will be signing copies of his new novel, The Millionaires, on Saturday from 2-4 p.m. at Blue Mountain Coffees in Downtown Staunton. Proceeds from the sales of The Millionaires, a story of the rise and fall of two banking brothers who make a run at the Tennessee governor’s office in the 1970s and later work to bring a World’s Fair to Tennessee in the early 1980s, will benefit the Staunton Montessori School.
Majors is a native of Tennessee who grew up in Knoxville, which played host to the World’s Fair in 1982.
“I thought the story of folks who had the vision to imagine a World’s Fair in Knoxville would make a good start on some of the themes I wanted to explore, namely the source of ambition, and the cost of ambition,” Majors said.
But, Majors added: “It’s definitely fiction. Anyone looking for the inside scoop on real events will be disappointed.”
The story takes place in the late 1970s and centers on that generation of people who moved from areas in the rural south to cities like Atlanta, Charlotte and Nashville. “I wanted to write a novel set right before the Sun Belt migration,” said Majors, who teaches creative writing at James Madison University in Harrisonburg. “It’s such an interesting time, when so many people were leaving small towns and farms and making their mark in the big cities of the South.”
Majors is the son of a longtime Tennessee state legislature lobbyist. The Millionaires plays on Majors’ knowledge of the family business. “When I was a boy, my dad would take me down to the capital with him for a few days each year,” Majors said. “I’d hang out in the gallery and watch the action on the senate floor. Then we’d go to lunch, and I’d get to hear all those good stories about what was going on behind the scenes. Politicians are great characters and storytellers. I’m sure being around that scene has influenced my work to some degree.”
Perhaps because of the topical nature of the book–politics, banking and bank failure–The Millionaires has been widely and well reviewed in the The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and many other outlets. The reviewer on Alabama Public Radio, called it “the best, most fully accomplished new novel I have read in perhaps three years.”
Majors, whose uncle is a former University of Tennessee coach, Johnny Majors, said his next novel will likely be a football comedy.
– Story by Chris Graham