NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The Garden District Book Shop is honored to host an evening celebrating the national release of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Bragg’s “The Speckled Beauty,” the warm hearted and hilarious story of how his life was transformed by his love for a poorly behaved, half-blind stray dog.

Speck is not a good boy. He is a terrible boy, a defiant, self-destructive, often malodorous boy, a grave robber and screen door moocher who spends his days playing chicken with the FedEx man, picking fights with thousand-pound livestock, and rolling in donkey manure, and his nights howling at the moon. He has been that way since the moment he appeared on the ridgeline behind Bragg’s house, a starved and half-dead creature, seventy-six pounds of wet hair and poor decisions.

Speck arrived in Bragg’s life at a moment of looming uncertainty. A cancer diagnosis, chemo, kidney failure, and recurring pneumonia had left Rick lethargic and melancholy. Speck helped, and he is helping, still, when he is not peeing on the rose of Sharon. Written with Bragg’s inimitable blend of tenderness and sorrow, humor and grit, “The Speckled Beauty” captures the extraordinary, sustaining devotion between two damaged creatures who need each other to heal.

The event will begin at 6:00 PM with a welcome reception followed by Bragg’s famous storytelling and a reading from the book. There will be a Q&A and book signing to follow.

Individual tickets are available for $30 and include a copy of the book and welcome reception snacks and beverages. Couples tickets are also available for $36 and include entry for two, one copy of the book and welcome reception snacks and beverages. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite. 

All state-mandated COVID safety protocols will be in place. Masks are required. Proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of the event is required.

For more information on The Garden District Book Shop, please visit