Our friend and occasional correspondent Karen Spears Zacharias wrote a blog post yesterday about her friend Wanda Jewell, the executive director of the Southeast Independent Booksellers Alliance: “Books are her passion, bookstores her pulpit, and readers her mission field,” Zacharias said in praise of Jewell, who earlier this year created a promotion in which she gave a free book for every purchase at a SIBA affiliate. (By the way, as far as we know, the free book stimulus plan is still running.)
But, Zacharias reports, Jewell will be undergoing surgery for breast cancer next week. Authors and other book people in the South have already begun to offer their hope for a swift recovery in the comments to Zacharias’s post and in other online venues. “Wanda has reshaped the Southern literary landscape,” says the Atlanta-based VERB. “[She] has never been interested in being known to anyone but her bookstores, but she is a giant in the industry, and her name is gold.” We know that we are not alone among New York’s publishing industry professionals in sending our own best wishes her way.