This year's book selection has been announced! This fall, Thomas County will be reading and celebrating the Southern classic, To Dance with the White Dog. You can catch up on past One Book selections here.
Sam Peek's children are worried. Since that "saddest day" when Cora, his beloved wife of 57 good years, died, no one knows how he will survive. How can this elderly man live alone on his farm? How can he keep driving his dilapidated truck down to the fields to care for his few rows of pecan trees? And when Sam begins telling his children about a dog as white as the pure driven snow (that seems invisible to everyone but him) his children think grief and old age have finally taken their toll.
But whether the dog is real or not, Sam Peek -- "one of the smartest men in the South when it comes to trees" -- outsmarts them all. Sam and the White Dog will dance from the pages of this bittersweet novel and into your heart, as they share the mystery of life, and begin together a warm and moving final rite of passage.
Award-winning novelist Terry Kay was born in Hart County, Georgia, the eleventh of twelve children, on February 20, 1938. He was reared on a farm and was graduated from West Georgia Junior College in 1957 and LaGrange College in 1959, earning a degree in Social Science, with extensive study in theater arts. He began his career in journalism in 1959 at the Decatur-DeKalb News, a weekly newspaper in Decatur (GA) and later worked for The Atlanta Journal as a sportswriter and, for eight years, as one of America’s leading film-theater critics.
Kay resigned from the Journal in 1973 to begin a career in public relations, later becoming Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Oglethorpe Power Corporation. In 1989, he left the corporate world to devote full time to writing.
Kay’s first novel, published in 1976, was The Year the Lights Came On, a story inspired by his memory of the coming of electricity to his rural community. It was followed in 1981 by After Eli, a disturbing view of a charming Irish actor terrorizing an Appalachian community. In 1984, Dark Thirty, an examination of justice vs. vengeance, also set in Appalachia, was published.
Publication of his first three novels established Kay as a writer of versatility, able to switch genre and voice with ease and command.
In 1990, Kay’s signature novel, To Dance With the White Dog, was released, quickly taking its place among Southern literary classics and establishing Kay as one of the region’s foremost writers. Inspired by Kay’s own parents, it is the story of an octogenarian and a mysterious white dog that comes to live with him following the death of his wife of 57 years. To Dance With the White Dog earned Kay the Outstanding Author of the Year award in 1991 from the Southeastern Library Association. The book was twice nominated for the American Booksellers’ Book of the Year (ABBY) award and was named by the Georgia Center for the Book as one of the 25 recommended books for all Georgians to read.