NORMAN — Oklahoma author Rilla Askew is hosting a release party and book signing for her newest book, “Kind of Kin,” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Norman Public Library, 225 N. Webster Ave.
The event gives audience members an opportunity to hear a reading of the book, visit with the author and purchase and discuss the book. Askew said the event will offer special insight into the creation of her novel.
“Sometimes people who are aspiring writers like to come and hear writers talk about, ‘How do you do that? How do you get a book published? How do you even finish a book, matter of fact?’” Askew said. “This book, in particular, lends itself to conversation about a lot of issues. The subject matter is just about Oklahoma’s immigration laws and questions of faith. And what do people of faith — when they have certain beliefs that go against their state or their nation — how do they choose how they proceed?”
The book, a work of fiction, tells the story of a family in southeastern Oklahoma that is strongly affected by an anti-immigration law similar to one that went into affect in Oklahoma in 2007.
Askew said the story slowly unfolded after unexpected inspiration hit.
“I woke up one morning in Norman with this kid voice talking in my head quoting his aunt saying, ‘Granddaddy is a felon and a Christian. He’s a felon because he’s a Christian,’” she said.
What came after was a story about a religious, Anglo-Oklahoman family that has a run in with the law when the patriarch is arrested for harboring illegal aliens. The novel’s themes allow discussion on how religious beliefs and political views or policies may or may not be congruent.
Askew has a second book event in Norman titled “Faith and Fiction: A Conversation,” hosted by the Pioneer Library System and the Norman Interfaith Alliance, at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at First Christian Church, 220 S. Webster Ave.