Dr. Robert Hamblin, Professor Emeritus of English at Southeast Missouri State University, will speak at the next League of Women Voters of Southeast Missouri meeting. It will be held on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 12:30 - 1:00 p.m., at the Cape Girardeau Public Library. Dr. Hamblin’s topic is his book, Leaving Here, a gay rights novel set in a small Missouri town in 1994-1995. Dr. Hamblin’s lecture is open to the public. The novel tells the story of the mob violence and persecution directed against the Sylvan Sisters, a colony of lesbians and abused women. Coming to the aid of the women is a wealthy but depressed St. Louis lawyer who sets out one morning to commit suicide but winds up seeking purpose and redemption in his efforts to assist the women. The novel dramatizes the social conditions that propelled the Gay Rights and Me Too movements. The founding director of Southeast’s Center for Faulkner Studies, Hamblin is the author or editor of 33 previous books, including 20 scholarly volumes, six books of poems, four biographies, and three personal or family memoirs, as well as a number of short stories. Leaving Here is his first novel. Hamblin self-published the book using the CreateSpace platform on the Amazon website. The book is available online through amazon.com or at local bookstores.