Learning how to cope in the New South, which does not always seem so new, is a tall order, especially if you are Anna Neimus, an aspiring college journalist who just can't seem to catch a break. A Northerner, sometimes Anna wonders if her liberal, feminist leanings are out of place at the Tri Delta sorority house in University, Mississippi. Her roommate, a quintessential southern girl, is always putting ideas in Anna's head which, in turn, translate into controversial articles. Each one ignites the letters to the editor in full force and lands Anna in the center of the blast zone.

But this time she has really blown it. She has struck a nerve on campus and is in a real pinch. In her article on Barack Obama's appearance at Ole Miss, she declares the debate a "historic bore". There is only one way to fix her problem - use her wits. With the help of her sorority sisters, fraternity boyfriends, and her best friend, a fellow student and African-American conservative, Anna plows head-on into the fray, leaving a path of destruction that makes Animal House look tame.

In the shadow of the racial tensions her University has survived in the past, now it is Anna's turn to make a difference. Seeking the editor's post at the campus newspaper, Anna must decide if running a newspaper or running for a student government position is the way to prove she is a leader. If By Whiskey is an irreverent, lighthearted look at the life of a Maryland woman living in Mississippi, with a message of tolerance and friendship that is a testament to the changing times.

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  • Wednesday October 14 - Square Books in Oxford; 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Thursday October 15 - Lemuria Books in Jackson; 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Friday October 16 - Barnes & Noble in Ridgeland; 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Saturday October 31 - Cover to Cover Books in Natchez; 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Thursday November 5 - Mistletoe Marketplace in Jackson; 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Thursday November 5 - Fondren after 5 in Jackson at Brent's Drugs; 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Saturday November 7 - Dancing Rabbit Gallery in Philadelphia; 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Saturday November 7 - Cotton Row Bookstore in Cleveland; 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Sunday November 8 - Gift Gallery in Gulfport; 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday November 14 - Ole Miss Campus Bookstore in Oxford; Time to be determined
  • Wednesday November 18th - Whiskey Party/Author Meet & Greet at Vintage Station Gulfport; 5 p.m. until
  • Thursday November 19 - Pink Zinnia in Hernando; 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Friday November 20 - Spice of Life in Corinth; 3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday November 21 - Ole Miss Campus Bookstore in Oxford; Time to be determined
  • Tuesday November 24th - Sundog Books; Seaside, FL; 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Sunday November 29 - Bay Books in Bay St. Louis; 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Friday November 27 - Page & Palette in Fairhope, AL; 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Monday December 7 - Main Street Books in Hattiesburg; 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday December 8 - Pass Christian Books in Pass Christian; 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Thursday December 10 - Borders in Flowood; 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Saturday December 12 - Lemuria Books in Jackson; Time to be determined

"With a fictional narrative that is impossible to forget, Quentin Whitwell honors the Mississippi story-telling tradition made famous by Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, and Richard Wright."

"Our culture surrounds us and in many ways it blurs our myriad differences. Set in Oxford, Mississippi, this tale could be the tale of any young college-aged Mississippian. It particularly took me back to my alma mater, Mississippi University for Women - known as "the W" - a small Mississippi college set in a small college town; Lindsey, Anna, Katheryn could have just as easily been "W girls". They and their colleagues are the college kids of any Mississippi university in any Mississippi university town and in any decade who share with us their foibles as well as their courage and unique goodnesses. They remind us that our culture may shape our early destiny but that growing never ends.

If by Whiskey is engaging and comical - and a quick and fun read - with the themes of truth that help us find ourselves, wherever we may be."

  • Lydia Quarles
  • Senior Policy Analyst
  • Stennis Institute of Government
  • Partner, Knight Mozingo & Quarles

"If By Whiskey is a fun and intelligent romp through the unique and combustible atmosphere that exists in that most Southern of college towns: Oxford, Mississippi. At turns silly and serious, this novel convincingly portrays the fears, ambitions, and triumphs of a young woman who lands at Ole Miss as a fish out of water. In this debut work, Quentin Whitwell produces a compelling and enjoyable read."

  • Warwick Sabin
  • Publisher of The Oxford American magazine

"Like the perfect cocktail. . . one sip and you realize how thirsty you are. . . . So it is with If By Whiskey. . . . Whitwell captures the character and spirit of time and place with his verbal interaction between characters and his inclusion of historical events at one of America 's most unique institutions of higher learning. . . . The reader will learn a lot about Ole Miss from this book. The reader will also learn that Quentin Whitwell can blend a very good literary cocktail. Enjoy!"

  • Phil Hardwick
  • Author