Blooming Book Club | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Blooming Book Club

Eudora Welty’s night-blooming Cereus flowers inspired a reading club at Lemuria Books.

Eudora Welty’s night-blooming Cereus flowers inspired a reading club at Lemuria Books. Photo by Courtesy Lemuria

Jackson writer Eudora Welty inspired the name of the Cereus Readers book club, pronounced "serious." She and her friends would come together to watch the annual night-blooming of the cereus flower. They called themselves the "The Night-Blooming-Cereus Club."

The Cereus Readers book club gives people a place to gather to read and discuss the writing of Eudora Welty and other books that inspired the author. "I think the best thing about our book club is the range of readers in our group," says book club coordinator Lisa Newman. "We have members who had never read Eudora Welty's work before and members who are scholars of her work. Some were even dear friends of Miss Welty. Everyone contributes a unique perspective."

The books the club reads are available at Lemuria Books, where Cereus Readers receive a 10 percent discount on purchases. During meetings, members are welcome to bring their lunch.

The schedule for this fall includes three meetings. On Sept. 26 at noon: A listening of Eudora Welty reading "Keela, the Outcast Indian Maiden" with discussion. On Oct. 24 at noon: Hunter Cole, friend and scholar of Eudora Welty, is the guest speaker. On Nov. 16 at 2 p.m.: This event will open with a talk on reading and collecting Eudora Welty's work. Lemuria will display a special collection of Eudora Welty books—from trade to fine first editions.

The club will not meet in December, but will resume on Jan. 23 at noon with the new titles posted on the Cereus Readers page at

For more information about the club, call Lisa Newman at 601-366-7619 or email [email protected]

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