Tuscaloosa writers publish e-book reflecting on tornado

Patty Vaughan

On May 9, a group of authors came together to publish a book called Tuscaloosa Runs This, a compilation of fiction, non-fiction and poetry dedicated to the storms that hit Tuscaloosa on April 27.

Brian Oliu, a creative writing professor at the University, headed the project.

“ I think when the tornado hit everyone was looking for something that they could do–one of the themes that has come about is the idea of ‘playing to one’s strengths’–so I figured there was something that could’ve been done in regards to assembling writers and getting the word out there,” Oliu said. “There is an amazing amount of talent here in Tuscaloosa and it was also an opportunity to showcase that talent in a way that could help our city.”

The writings appear in an e-book, which is a book distributed on the Internet, usually in a PDF format, Oliu said. People have the capability of reading it online or printing it out. The program, “Issuu” also allows people to read the book online as if it were an actual book.

“We’ve had over 500 people download it–just today we had the link passed on by places such as BoingBoing, McSweeney’s, and James Spann,” Oliu said. “The writing community has been incredibly supportive as well by downloading as well as letting others know about the eBook.”

There are 44 writers that wrote pieces that talk about what happened after the tornado hit as well as some pieces written about what happened before.

“All of the writing is about Tuscaloosa – the people, place and things that we love.”

People can download the e-book at www.brianoliu.com/ebook/. People can also have the option of donating on the website to help the disaster relief.

“All donations go towards Recover Tuscaloosa,” Oliu said. “It’s a way to showcase the fantastic writers that call or have called Tuscaloosa home.”