USC Upstate News

Critically Acclaimed Author Michael Morris Visits USC Upstate

08- 28- 2009

Spartanburg, S.C. - Novelist Michael Morris will visit the University of South Carolina on Thursday, September 3 as part of the University’s inaugural event of the 2009-2010 Authors@Upstate Visiting Writers Series. Morris will read from his book Slow Way Home at 4:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Administration Building.

Slow Way HomeSlow Way Home is the heartwarming story of Brandon Willard, a young boy who is raised by his grandparents when abandoned by his unstable mother. Slow Way Home was nationally selected as one of the top three recommended novels by the Independent Booksellers Association, and named one of the best novels of 2003 by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and the St. Louis Dispatch.  In fact, like Brandon and his grandparents, many of these families have very little or no contact with one or both of the parents.  

Morris said, "We often say that children are our most important resource but all too frequently children in need seem to languish. My main character, Brandon, sums it up best when he states that if it hadn't been for his grandparents he most likely would have been tossed around a court system much like clothes in a dryer."  

This is a situation Morris understands, as he and his mother moved to his grandparents’ house in an effort to flee an abusive father and husband. 

In South Carolina, approximately 90,000 children are living in a grandparent’s household. Slow Way Home has been selected as a “school-wide read” in Spartanburg this year and Morris will be making several appearances in the city.

“With about 9 percent of all children in our state living with a grandparent, Morris’s subject is a timely one,” said Dr. Thomas McConnell, director of the Honors Program at USC Upstate.

Sponsored by the USC Upstate Honors Program, this free event is open to the public and will be followed by a reception and book signing. The 2009-2010 Authors@Upstate Visiting Writers Series will include later visits from Tom Moore Craig, Eli Shipley, Dot Jackson, Brenda Flanagan, and George Singleton.

For further information, contact Dr. Thomas McConnell, director of the Honors Program at USC Upstate, at (864) 503-5681 or