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Leonard Todd is the author of CAROLINA CLAY, the story of the slave potter known as Dave. Newsweek calls it “a fascinating account.” Publishers Weekly describes it as “a sweeping tale of the South itself.” It was a finalist for The National Award for Arts Writing, and it won the South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing. It is published by W. W. Norton.
Born in South Carolina, Leonard was educated at Yale University. He is a former Fulbright Scholar to France. He lived for many years in New York City, where he began his writing career with travel articles, short stories, and novels for young adults. Two of his novels, set in areas of the South that he knew well as a boy, were optioned for film productions.
Author Leonard Todd will be talking with us about the great ceramic artisan known as “Dave,” who lived in South Carolina during the 19th century. He was a potter, a poet, and a slave.
For many years, very few details were known about this enigmatic man. Leonard, however, discovered a startling personal link to him and set out to uncover his story. The prize-winning book, CAROLINA CLAY, is the result.
Leonard now lives with his wife, a poet, in Edgefield, South Carolina, where he recently wrote the book, lyrics, and music for his first theatrical musical, SUNNY DAY, which had its premiere at the Edgefield County Theatre Company.
Leonard has told Dave’s story to audiences at the Smithsonian, at Oxford, on National Public Radio, and today he will be telling it to us.
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