News Release

For immediate release - November 6, 2013

Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Gilbert King to Speak in Mount Dora

Join Pulitzer Prize winning author Gilbert King on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m., at the Mount Dora Community Center, 520 North Baker Street. Mr. King will speak on “The Groveland Boys, Sheriff McCall, Thurgood Marshall, and the Dawn of a New America,” with a book-signing to follow. 

Based on an incident that occurred in Lake County in 1949, his award winning novel Devil in the Grove delves deeply into the arrest, prosecution, and defense of the ‘Groveland Boys’, four young African-Americans who were accused of raping a 17-year-old white woman. With little evidence that a crime had been committed, and with many instances of prosecutorial misconduct, the case of the Groveland Boys gained international recognition – as well as the attention of a young lawyer, future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall.

Nearly six decades after the arrest and conviction of the accused, King was granted unique access to previously closed files and spent four years researching the case to create an historical account that reads like a crime thriller. The Chicago Tribune called Devil in the Grove “A powerful and well-told drama of Southern injustice,” the Boston Globe deemed it “A taut, intensely readable narrative.” The New York Times said the book was “Must-read, cannot-put down history.”

Follow the announcement of the Pulitzer Prize, Lionsgate Films optioned the book and have placed it on a fast track for production, with a scheduled release in 2015. Mentioned as possible stars are Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Lake County’s Sheriff Willis McCall, and Denzel Washington as attorney Thurgood Marshall.

Although time had diminished the impact and importance of the case in the minds of many Lake County citizens, Devil in the Grove is an instant classic that examines the battle between justice and Jim Crow, between civil rights and brute force, and between a nation looking to the future and living in the past. The free presentation is a unique opportunity to hear from a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who will remind us of where we’ve been – and how far we have traveled.

Attendees are asked to RSVP by calling (352) 383-2679 or registering online at will open at 6 p.m. with the presentation beginning promptly at 7 p.m. Following the lecture, Barrel of Books and More will host a book signing in the lobby of the Mount Dora Community Building. To learn more about this presentation, to participate as a sponsor, or to request an interview with Gilbert King, call (352) 383-2679 or visit

Sponsored by Lake & Sumter Style, the Lake County Library System - Authors @ the Library, W.T. Bland Public Library, City of Mount Dora, Visit Mount Dora, the Mount Dora Community Building Foundation, and Mount Dora Productions, admission is FREE. The book signing will be hosted by Barrel of Books and More.


Media contact:
Stephanie Haimes
Library Director

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