A book signing event will be held at the South Arkansas Arts Center on Thursday, November 8, for Joe David Rice, Little Rock author of “Arkansas Backstories: Quirks, Characters, and Curiosities of the Natural State” (Volume 1). The book signing will be held in the Price and Merkle Galleries at 6:00pm.

“Arkansas Backstories” is a two-volume set of approximately 160 essays on lesser-known aspects of the state. Volume 1 covers the A through L topics, and Volume 2 (to be released next spring) will include the M-Z subjects.

“I spent about 8 years developing a list of potential topics, pared that down by about half, and then began the process of writing the essays and collecting the accompanying illustrations,” said Rice. “A native Arkansan, I’ve always been proud of our state. Writing the book gave me the opportunity to share these unexpected but fascinating aspects about Arkansas with others. I didn’t realize, for instance, that Abraham Lincoln apparently spent a couple of weeks in Arkansas while a young man, that the first African-American to run for President was a native of Little Rock, or that the first sitting Member of Congress to be assassinated was a representative from Arkansas.

“Volume 1 includes several connections to El Dorado. There’s a piece on E. Fay Jones and another one on L.A. (Lower Arkansas). Much of the essay on Elvis concentrates on his first concert in El Dorado, a performance that got off to a notably bad start.

“My wife, the former Tracey Wilson, introduced me to El Dorado over a decade ago, and through her I’ve developed many friends in the area. Several have expressed interest in ‘Arkansas Backstories’, thus the book-signing.”

For more information, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.