Texas Tech University Libraries Host Dennis Covington

DATE: April 24, 2006
CONTACT: Scott Slemmons, scott.slemmons@ttu.edu
(806) 742-2136

LUBBOCK – Texas Tech University Libraries will host a book review and discussion Thursday featuring Texas Tech English professor and award-winning author Dennis Covington and his book "Salvation on Sand Mountain."

The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Southwest Collection/Special Collection Library's Formby Room. It is free and open to the public.

Paperback copies of Covington’s book will be available for check-out from the University Library.

When an Alabama pastor was convicted in 1992 of trying to kill his wife with poisonous snakes, Covington, a freelance journalist at the time, covered the murder trial during which he unearthed the bizarre and mysterious world of snake handling. As he got to know parishioners, the author discovered a community of unshakable faith, where worshippers handle poisonous snakes and drink strychnine as part of their religious experience.

As Covington explored the lives and beliefs of the poor white Southerners who adhered to an assortment of unorthodox practices, he writes of his Appalachia ancestors, the riveting power of the faith he witnesses, and ultimately, his own spiritual transformation, which leads him to taking up the snakes himself. "Salvation on Sand Mountain" is a National Book Award finalist.

CONTACT: Jeff Whitley, director of communications and marketing, Texas Tech University Libraries, (806) 742-3685, or e-mail jeff.whitley@ttu.edu.