Take a look: something different for your own reading or for students or young friends. Llwewllyn McKernan 's new book of poetry:. I've spent late spring and most of the summer selling the house where we lived for thirty years, buying a new house, getting estimates from painters and asbestos removers, selling or throwing out a Sisyphean mound of possessions, including a couple of thousand books, and finally moving into the new house six minutes away.
Everything everyone says about moving is true: it is stressful beyond belief and totally dominates your every waking moment. I wasn't hungry for a month, and found myself unable to read real literature. Adding to how deeply I sank into my very private business has been, I think, a despairing sense of powerlessness in the face of the insanity of the national leadership at the present time. How much easier to spend time contemplating which picture should go on which wall, shortening a cafe curtain, breaking down more boxes and tying them in bundles for recycling.
What I did read, I read strictly on my Kindle..
The physical books were still packed, so I borrowed genre e-books from the library, and finally reread a twentieth century classic. Here's what I read: 1 a memoir manuscript I was asked to blurb doc file emailed to the Kindle ; 2 three or was it four? Michael Connelly -Harry Bosch mysteries — a cop series recommended to me by another writer as competently written which I would agree to ; and 3 To the Lighthouse. The latter is something of a tradition for me. I re-read it periodically, and one of the times, if memory serves, was just after we moved into the house on Prospect Street thirty years ago.
I remember sitting in a rocking chair near the big plate glass window in the living room, isolated by a lot of bare floor. This was before some kindly friend pointed out that the best way to deal with a big room is to put furniture in so-called conversational groupings rather than spread out. So this time, when I finally felt that my brain could handle something besides straight narrative--when I began to get tired of Harry Bosch's male angst given moral loftiness by his devotion to justice, I turned to language in the service of exploring the meaning of time and place.
To the Lighthouse has been just right. It even centers on a house, especially the middle section called "Time Passes," which dramatizes the effects of weather and human neglect on an empty house as years pass, and the family doesn't come back. Woolf is so brilliant in this book: she details a multitude of people's world views, the colors and sounds of their highly developed perceptions-- and then tosses out major deaths among our favorite characters in brief bracketed sentences. The summer house, which had been given its life by the life force of Mrs. Ramsay, is an appropriate symbol, natural because it is the family's own symbol.
Then of course, in the third part, t, they do come back, their numbers thinned, and finish some business left hanging in the wonderful, long first part: Lily Briscoe's painting and, of course, the sail to the lighthouse. One of the great wonders of the book is the extreme realism of how it captures change over time. When I first read the book, in college or shortly after, I remember skimming it and panicking because I thought I didn't understand it. At that period of my life, I thought everything was a puzzle and a test, and that it was my job to gather my intellectual powers and figure it out and pass the test.
I expect I tried to read the book too fast, to get the point, not yet grasping that for some books, the point is the experience, not the answer to any question. The odd thing is that my brain was sharper then, but reading To the Lighthouse now is far easier. It will never be a fast read-- it doesn't have narrative momentum the way Harry Bosch's adventures do, dragging you in and on-- but in the right mood, which I was in as we emptied boxes, it is like stepping into water on a hot day, surprising and refreshing, an adventure and a relaxation as you lean back and float.
Perhaps it is a book for grown-ups, as Woolf famously said about Middlemarch , "the magnificent book which with all its imperfections is one of the few English novels for grown-up people. One more note: technically, Woolf does the omniscient viewpoint possibly better than anyone in modern times. She was only one generation after the magisterial Victorians.
She skims from consciousness to consciousness with aplomb. Her own ego, of course, was clinically fragile, so perhaps that plays into her ability to hear and convey many voices. We also can't forget that she writes about people whose interests and education are very similar to each other's and hers-- they all share a frame of reference, cultural norms, and even speech patterns.
Is that what omniscience in novels needs to succeed? Also, she has good structural elements supporting the book: Mrs. Ramsay herself, of course, often the object of others' attention when she herself is not the consciousness, and the powerful objective correlatives of the lighthouse and Lily Briscoe's painting at the beginning and end.
Anyhow, it's sad and sweet and brilliant and captures the whispers of time passing like nothing else. So good to be reading again. Gifford and Edwina Pendarvis. This thoughtful collection provides a thoroughly researched history of murders in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Southern Ohio, rather than a blood-drenched rendition aimed at inducing visceral reactions. The 17 authors of the 23 stories have varied backgrounds. They include scholars, journalists, a state representative, teacher, historians, a judge, an archivist, a publisher, and an administrative assistant.
Accounts are presented in chronological order, beginning with the murder of a black slave child by her owners in and ending with the murder of a year-old girl viciously stabbed by her best friends in Witnesses had seen the child hanging, suspended by a rope or chain, completely naked from a peach tree.
The body was exhumed and the case of this tortured thirteen year old went to court. The farmer insisted slaves were not human. Under Virginia law at the time, he was legally correct. These narratives, according to Pendarvis, were popular from the late eighteenth into the late nineteenth century. They were sold as broadsheets or pulp paperbacks, with the purported aim of turning others away from crime.
During the Age of Yellow Journalism, these narratives provided lurid descriptions to titillate readers. The feud, which lasted from , was even more brutal than the famous Hatfield and McCoy feud, which I knew about even as a child. This Kentucky feud accounted for 20 deaths and 16 wounded. It grew out of corrupt state and local government following the Reconstruction Era. The spark that ignited the Rowan County War happened on election day over a hotly contested race for sheriff.
Nicholls, Retired. Interestingly, many juries still side against the science, perhaps wanting someone to blame to the loss of life. Before reading this account, I only associated Manson with Hollywood. Fortunately for all of us, murder is rare—and that rarity contributes to our interest in it. The authors try to lay out the reasons behind each of these criminal acts, but this collection leaves us pondering that unanswerable question: how could anyone deliberately commit such an irrevocable act against a fellow human?
Middlemarch is a book of surprising breadth, given its rather specific setting. Through 4 or 5 plot lines, depending on how you count them, it covers a society and era that I haven't seen too many novels attempt. Furthermore, it's not as simple a story as it initially appears to be, and even the plots take turns you don't expect. The novel explores social norms, feminism of a limited, 19th century sort , politics, wealth, and a host of other topics. All of that having been said, I just often found myself bored while reading Middlemarch.
It is wordy, it is drawn out, and while the plot has some gripping moments, they are far and few between. And so here I find myself, enjoying enough of it that I want to like it more than I do, but I would be hard pressed to convince myself to read it again. Ultimately Eliot is always compared to Austen, which is hardly fair.
Middlemarch is, in fact, a vastly more ambitious book, and not too directly about its own plot. It is about the world the characters inhabit and their society. There has recently been, as most readers know, a generally shuttering of print newspapers, particularly their book reviewing departments. Not replacing them, but cropping up like a vast field of mushrooms some amazingly delicious and some likely to cause nausea have been the short evaluations you find on Amazon.
One of my reasons for writing this newsletter has been to share my own reading, in my own way, and to make a space for those of you who might want to share reviews here-- Please contribute! Meanwhile, for myself, I continue to reread books by favorite authors. I also get a lot of books to blurb, review, or evaluate for university presses; but maybe most of all I get ideas word-of-mouth from my friends and students. Some of my friends also blog. Shelley Ettinger's Read Write Red features her excellent taste in literature as well as her strong left-wing world view, and NancyKay Shapiro's Books Make a Life is a new blog, and one of the sources she recommends is Backlisted Podcast.
The book I want to talk about first here comes directly from a face-to-face conversation with Alice Robinson-Gilman, a serious and constant reader. It is a book that she says she keeps re-reading, and that in itself made me very curious. The genre is Southern Gothic, which usually involves a lot of drinking and violence and eccentric, often down-and-out characters. Larry Brown shows up in the article, but not as one of the top ten.
The genre isn't my favorite, as it has always seemed a little exploitative to me: Southern Gothic writers have a tendency to go slumming and play at poverty. I'm sure they have suffered in their lives as we all have, but they have also had for at least a while, access to a room of their own and a publisher. So I was skeptical when I started Joe , but I ended up liking it a lot. Brown's book has plenty of the requisite violence and grotesquery, but it feels earned.
The novel is mostly a study of the eponymous character Joe, although large sections follow the life of an illiterate boy named Gary from an astonishingly dysfunctional family headed by a Faulknerian Old Man named Wade Snopes-- sorry, I mean Wade Jones. About the only enormity Wade doesn't perform on his children is to have sex with them, at least not on stage in this book. But that's probably because by this time in his life he appears to have drunk himself into impotence. Meanwhile, Joe lives a far more affluent life than the Wades. He runs a crew of tree poisoners for a lumber corporation, which then hires him to plant pine trees to replace the dead trees.
He has a house, buys a fancy truck in the course of the novel, has an ample supply of whiskey and a cooler in the truck full of beer. He also has a divorced wife, children, and a grandchild. People like him, women of course, but also a local store keeper and the sheriff. On the other hand, he is clearly on a downhill roll. He repeatedly gets in trouble with the local cops and engages in a blood feud with another local good old boy.
- See a Problem??
- To Trap A Temptress.
- Alice and the Assassins (Spanking Menage Fantasies);
- Beyond Plantation Alley.
Through the novel, Joe's deterioration gains momentum, and the events increase in violence-- Old Man Wade as well as Joe is revealed as more and more evil. There is a general blow up at the end, with a kind of self-sacrifice from Joe. This all feels believably inevitable. The hard-working but preternaturally ignorant young Gary does does appear to have a little luck, though, because Wade, though he unfortunately lives, leaves Gary.
Interestingly, Brown chooses to write an epilogue about the natural world. It feels like the right way to end this-- the closest, maybe, that Brown can come to a happy ending. Thrust , Ken Champion's latest novel, follows three men, two of whom are largely loners, with many similarities of style, but completely different world views, particularly in politics and architecture.
Piero is a renowned and increasingly wealthy international architect of post modern sensibilities and a conviction that his art takes precedence over everything else. He, like Piero, is highly sensitive to buildings and light and skylines, and part of the pleasure of this novel is the observations of both men. The third man, Jim, has fewer point-of-view sections and is a skilled bricklayer who has a relationship with the bricks he works with that is analogous to the architectural sensibilities of the other two. Jim, though, has a wife and at least one deep friendship, and is a touchstone for the novel.
Champion's work always finds groundedness in people who work with their hands. Jim's work is part of what allows him a real friendship and a wife. The other two have difficulty sustaining long relationships, although Piero has an engineering colleague who follows him around the world and Liam, slowly over the course of the novel, has a growing relationship with Mary.
I think Liam's real love, though, is London, which he takes into his pores as he walks and observes, loving the evidence of the past as well as London's polyglot present. The three stories make their way in parallel narratives that one trusts will eventually braid together, and the expectation is nicely fulfilled. Jim's Polish co-worker dies in a work accident that is partly related to post-modern architecture, if not directly to one of Piero's buildings.
Piero comes finally to London where he is unexpectedly jolted out of his life of jet-setting and art by bad deeds from the past. Liam grows most: both in his developing love relationship and also in taking on some political activism in speaking out against the razing of old churches and other structures.
Finally, Liam and Piero meet face to face and have a long dialogue about building and society. Characteristically of Champion, the plot climax— while certainly exciting— takes second place to the conflict about building and razing and the question of what is progress. It is a solid novel, determined to take its proper time using its own proper materials. The writing draws you in and the threads have an inevitable satisfying tying up into a final knot that stays in your memory and imagination.
Medusa's Country is more stunning poems from Larissa Shmailo. She is endlessly surprising, riffing off other literature-- an erasure poem using lines from "The Lotus Eaters" section in Joyce's Ulysses; one called "My Vronsky" with reference to Nabokov's failure to understand Anna Karenina-- but also about a relationship destructive to the narrator.
There is with short lines and hard-hitting rhymes like Sylvia Plath's famous "Daddy. There is, of course, a lot more here, as in her previous books, we have passages of her personal story of living on the edge and in the lower depths as in the "The Trick Wants to Go to Plato's," the old Plato's Retreat sex club where single men aren't allowed.
The narrator, who is indeed in the sex business, says " I sign a document attesting that I am not a prostitute; my whore name is Nora. These poems alternate with ones using myth and rhyming patterns and parody See "Fragment from the Ilatease of Homey, from a Recently Discovered Mycenaean Test. You will never be bored by Larissa Shmailo's poetry. I don't suppose that sounds like much of a recommendation to read it, but what I want to say is that her inventiveness and wit are only matched by her searing life experiences and her observation of death.
I thought I was going to have the curmudgeonly pleasure of saying negative things about the highly popular Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn , and this one, to my taste, started badly, but improved a lot. Gone Girl was a big hit when it came out in It is Flynn's third novel. Only three, too. She's been busy having a life as a journalist for Entertainment Weekly , getting married, having kids, etc. Anyhow, I started out not believing in Nick as a man, really disliking Amy in her "diary" entries. It's efficiently written, and somewhere towards the middle when it is finally revealed that Amy is a psycho manipulator, I began to get really engaged.
I went another third of the book interested in how Flynn was going to play this--interested in the plot but totally not caring about the people. I had seen at least part of the movie version and vaguely remembered some of the redneck resort part. In the final section when Amy's voice began to come on strong, and I finally believed in Nick at least, and started to realize that is is probably a dark comedy.
There are no real stakes--the main characters, who I didn't care about anyhow, were going to live one minor character is murdered, but it's someone you feel like killing yourself. It is a comedy in the technical sense too-- a wedding at the end, in this case the rejoining of the already-married young couple. I was pleased by Flynn's cleverness, and I think I get the book's success, but doubt I'd read anything else by Flynn. Like many nonfiction pieces that began in this form and then became a book, it has a ton of brilliant stuff early on that makes me want to think and discuss and read more— and then peters out and repeat itself and uses weaker examples in the effort to grow book-sized.
Nor does everything ring true to me--for example Gladwell's conviction that the Broken Windows theory of crime control was the real—and he appears to argue only-- reason crime dropped in NYC. He always writes well, of course, all enthusiasm and flashes of insight, but the book doesn't have the texture that the best nonfiction does I'm thinking of The Murder of Helen Jewett about the death of a prostitute in nineteenth century New York. Gladwell himself says of his work, "You're of necessity simplifying If you're in the business of translating ideas in the academic realm to a general audience, you have to simplify … If my books appear to a reader to be oversimplified, then you shouldn't read them: you're not the audience!
Read more in the Guardian. It is mostly occasional pieces-- poems for a revised Haggadah, secular prayers, and psalms for the months since Mr. Trump became president.
Obenzinger does his prophesying in long lines that are alternately outraged and humorous as he comments on politics and human follies over the last ten or fifteen years. Some of the poems are as up to date as "Dear Mr.. He typically uses everyday language in the classic American style of the New York poets and William Carlos Williams and, of course, the progenitor himself, Walt Whitman. Some of the poems have an incantatory quality and are meant to be read aloud, and indeed many have been performed.
One of my favorites is a poem that was performed with a jazz ensemble that is called "Peace Comes to the World" and is full of delightful, zany imagined changes:. Excerpts, of course, don't do justice to this kind of poetry that creates its efffects through long sentence-lines and heaps of images. I can't quite recall. Charming and political, ranting and rough-edged, it's a book to read to yourself, or read aloud to others, or to use as a substitute for the religious texts you have rejected. Answering Fire by John Wheat croft is a small book consisting of a short story and a novella, centering on the World War II experiences of a young sailor.
The short story "Kamikaze," is wonderfully dark: we experience with the teen-aged protagonist some of the daily life of a big air craft carrier that is under constant threat from the Japanese suicide planes. The tension and horror of that are bad enough, but there is a possibly hallucinatory story line about another sailor, repeated described as silent, animal-like, and unintelligent, who hates their noncommissioned officer and gradually draws the protagonist into a mutual crime that is a deep look at the secret dark side of the human soul.
It's an intense little piece, and a perfect mood-setter for the longer story. He is thrown back in memory by an encounter with another vacationer, a teacher from Japan. He begins to remember his experiences when the American naval forces, who had been told like the rest of America, that the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had saved the U.
Instead, the sailors, even far away from the nuclear devastation, find flattened cities and people living in holes, trading any saved valuables for cigarettes. This is an unusual and excellent book about what even that so-called righteous war did to combatants and victors as well as to victims. I love many of the characters, especially the ones Roth loves one of whom is not Nathan Zuckerman the protagonist. It's hard not to feel for the spectacularly flawed "Iron Zinn," and even more the older brother, Nathan's teacher, who as a ninety year old narrates most of the story.
The background is wonderfully detailed, especially the romance of communism for a brainy Jewish kid growing up in Newark, NJ at the end of the thirties and during WWII. We get a lot of the black list and McCarthyism of course, and it goes on too long in places. I like how Roth gets excited about various crafts glove making in American Pastoral , taxidermy and rock collecting here , but he probably uses more of his research than the novel requires. I don't know if this is prime Roth, but second rate Roth is better than nine tenths of the books you read. She says, "Saunders is very appealing to me, straight-eyed but deeply humane and often both moving and hilarious.
One of the few white male biggies to depict working-class in a sympathetic way--although he can be and is viciously satirical. The collage he creates in Lincoln in the Bardo is very effective and an interesting way of seeing the USA--not completely dissimilar from Dos Passos many years before, but much more strange. Ghosts, or spirits anyway. Phyllis Moore says that Lee Maynard 's final novel, A Triumph of the Spirit , "proved to be another emotional high octane ride There are daring deeds: fights to near death, lots of women with beautiful body parts, wrecked motorcylces.
It will repulse the spinsters and shock the mild-mannered. Queen Victoria would read it in secret. Just Maynard being Maynard If you are a Maynard fan, you will recognize pieces from his other books. They fit. He found a fitting way to wrap up his adventures and bid us goodbye. It's holiday season, and I'm asking everyone to think about giving books as gifts-- books from independent bookstores see clickable logo right for a store near you and small presses.
If you are looking for books for young children, don't miss Belinda Anderson's list of good new children's picture books in this issue. There are tons of excellent small presses, and they are publishing some of the most interesting work by contemporary writers.
One place to get an idea of the variety is at Newpages. Surprise your gift recipients! I love the concept of this book: an inveterate gambler dies and his two sons, one a rabbinical seminary drop-out, the other a near-convert to Mormonism, battle for his soul. It's a comedy, but a comedy with lots of Biblical and other research behind it. For example, you meet various types of Jewish angels and learn about the colorful cosmology and afterlife of Mormonism.
The narrator is young Norman Gould, and the time is , with a background of the Vietnam War and anti-war protests and the Watts riots. Norman is aware of these things, but more engrossed in his homecoming to Los Angeles where he gorges on enormous amounts of treyf foods while working as a counsellor in a Jewish day camp,alongside his brother who wants him, Norman, to break it to their mother that he is about to become a Mormon.
Norman, of course, is hiding from his family that he has dropped out of seminary. The struggle between the brothers is painful and funny, and Norman is desperate for meaning, constantly berating himself for a lifetime of achievement within the framework of Jewish religious training that he now feels was a fraud. The family includes the deceased father who died with cards in his hand, and their mother who kept the family together by working double shifts as a waitress in a Jewish pastrami palace. There is a grandmother, too, the father's mother, who lives with them and is lovingly cared for in her old age, speaking almost only Yiddish except for some baseball terms she uses to interact with her grandsons.
You end the novel with a lot of affection for all these people--including the mother's new boyfriend, the despised temple fund-raiser the boys call "the Foot. Norman says Kaddish for his father three times a day, deep and heartfelt, and stops gaining weight on pork chops and cheeseburgers. The book too, maybe even more unusually in contemporary novels, ends even better than it began. The first two thirds are probably too hard on Norman, who is, after all, young and confused and high on his newly-abstaining brother's stash of wine-soaked joints.
The ending isn't about returning to old beliefs Norman's brother really does leave Judaism and goes on to become a Mormon in good standing and start a nice Mormon family. It's more about learning to love your brother in spite of his meshuga religion— and loving your mother who marries someone you never liked. Meanwhile, the gorgeous Israeli maybe-angels do some magic before heading off to their next assignment, either fighting in the desert or saving more Jewish souls.
More importantly to me, though, is that while their prowess may be truly angelic or may only be Norman's dope-dreamy exaggerations, it isn't really necessary to the beginning of wisdom and the acceptance of the mysteries of our universe. The heart of this book of essays is several pieces about the author's mother dying, but surrounding them are many other wonderful stories at once revealing and reticent, quiet but with plenty of color and event. They tell of the suicide of a young friend's boyfriend; seventies road trips; tennis; and the lives and deaths of beloved dogs.
Sutton's father relates his harrowing war stories with an objectivity that creates as much amazement as the experiences themselves. One of my favorites is called "Left Unhung," which is a wonderful tour of nineteenth and twentieth century paintings in a museum, one after another, with their meanings explored, what they meant to the narrator as a child, what they mean to her now. Has anyone ever been this honest about the experience of being in a museum?
We're usually too busy trying to view the art in the correct way, or to sound smart, even to ourselves. Sutton's mother is mentioned in various contexts, and bit by bit we begin to circle around a rich portrait of her living as well as her dying which she does as so many of us do and will, in a nursing home. In a typical indirect but moving association, Sutton gives an echo of the mother in the little dog Pokie who appears first just as a part of the mother's life, then gets his own story at the end.
It is an organically organized and deeply intelligent collection that brings you close to a world of love and delight--and quiet suffering. Things are sometimes told obliquely, but always with inspiring grace and intensity. Born in Kishinev, famous for pogroms at the beginning of the twentieth century, Jane Lazarre's father Bill and his immediate family emigrated to the United States when he was a teenager. He learned English with great speed, worked, joined the Communist Party, did a stint in prison, and always read widely, but especially Marx, Lenin, Dostoevsky, Theodore Dreiser and other masterful critics of the status quo.
In fact, Bill Lazarre's reading list, and what he and his daughters read together and discussed, is one of the threads that binds the book together. For this is a memoir about people who constantly think and discuss, and feel as passionately as they think. As a young man, Bill went to Spain with the International Brigades to fight fascism, and this remained one of the high points of his life. His life in the Party back in the United States was also rich: he wrote and spoke publicly and taught, but the heroic days were gradually undermined by intra-party struggles as well as rumors that justice was not being meted out in the Soviet Union.
He was eventually thrown out of the party for reasons associated with the last days of Stalin when any disagreement was tantamount to betrayal.
To Trap A Temptress (Southern Sanctuary, book 2) by Jane Cousins
The ideology he had built his life around for its clear path to a better world no longer seemed to work. After losing his Party positions, he had trouble finding work that would support him and his two daughters. Harassed by the FBI and eventually taken before the HUAC committee, he stood firm and revealed nothing to implicate his old comrades, in spite of a real danger of deportation, even though he was an American citizen.
In his final years, he found some satisfaction in a quiet life, a worker hired by former comrades, reading all the papers, finding a second love. As Aino struggles to reconcile her beliefs with her latent desire to build a family —a desire complicated by the trauma from the past—she finds herself pulled between two very different suitors, both of whom harbor their own painful secrets.
Layered with fascinating historical detail, and vivid evocations of the pristine beauty of the primeval forest, Deep River is an ambitious and timely exploration of the place of the individual, and of the immigrant, in an America still in the process of defining its own identity. Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Bob writes about classic and contemporary gospel music as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Gospel Music www. He lives in Chicago with his wife, author and educator Laurel Delaney, and their two cats.
John F. Marszalek is the executive director of the Ulysses S. Grant, published in by the University Press of Mississippi. He is also the winner of numerous awards for his long time work in the American Civil War, Biography, Jacksonian America, and African American history. For more information, see www.
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She is at work on her next, which received the gold medal for the William Faulkner Novel-in-Progress. She lives on a hundred acres outside of Nashville, TN. Brian D. McLaren, a former pastor and English teacher, writes and speaks about the intersection of faith and contemporary life. Learn more at brianmclaren.
She writes full time now in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Mary Miller grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. She is a former James A. She lives in Oxford, Mississippi with her husband, Lucky, and her dog, Winter. Photographer Ken Murphy lives and works in his lifelong hometown of Bay St. Louis, Miss. Murphy is leading the charge to reopen Dan B. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys , Blonde , which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Falls , which won the Prix Femina.
Her most recent novel is A Book of American Martyrs. She is the Roger S. In a former life he owned a bookstore and thinks about that a lot. From , she served as executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. She lives with her two children in Beverly, Massachusetts. Owen studied for a decade with a New Mexican wise woman who blended contemplative practice, dreamwork, and nature spirituality rooted in the forests, arroyos, and mountains of the American Southwest.
The practice of poetry and Zen was inseparable from this path of deeper inquiry…along with lots of green chiles and pan-fried tortillas. Margaret Owen was born and raised at the end of the Oregon Trail, and now lives and writes in Seattle while negotiating a long-term hostage situation with her two monstrous cats. In her free time, she enjoys exploring ill-advised travel destinations and raising money for social justice nonprofits through her illustrations.
She resides in Seattle, WA. You can find her on Twitter and on her website. Ted Ownby is professor of history and southern studies and director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. Inspired by the landscape and flavors of his childhood on the Mississippi gulf coast, Timothy Pakron found his heart, soul, and calling in cooking the Cajun, Creole, and southern classics of his youth. In his debut cookbook, he shares plant-based recipes, all of which substitute ingredients without sacrificing depth of flavor and reveal the secret tradition of veganism in southern cooking.
Finding ways to re-create his experiences growing up in the South—making mud pies and admiring the deep pink azaleas—on the plate, Pakron looks to history and nature as his guides to creating the richest food possible. Filled with as many evocative photographs and stories as easy-to-follow recipes, Mississippi Vegan is an ode to the transporting and ethereal beauty of the food and places you love. She has also written many award-winning books for adults.
She worked many years in the music and entertainment business and is a graduate of the University of Alabama. The proud mother of two sons, eight bonus children, and eleven grandchildren, Lisa lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and their four-legged, furry daughter named Rosie.
She lives in Brooklyn.
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Mary Laura also enjoys traveling around the country to talk to people about books, reading, and writing. She has received the Phoenix Award for outstanding contributions to Eudora Welty scholarship and she has twice served as president of the Eudora Welty Society. Michelle A. Purdy is a native Jacksonian. Her book, Transforming the Elite: Black Students and the Desegregation of Private Schools University of North Carolina Press, , tells the unknown story about black students who desegregated historically white elite private schools or the most prestigious independent schools during the Civil Rights Era.
Such schools were not legally obligated to desegregate following the Brown v. Board of Education decision but school leaders opted to change admission policies because of moral, political, and financial reasons. Purdy combines social history, policy analysis, and oral history to examine specifically the desegregation of The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, alongside national efforts to diversify independent schools.
She details how the first African American students to desegregate Westminster courageously navigated institutional and interpersonal racism in a contradictory and complex school culture. In Jackson, Purdy graduated from St. She is currently an associate professor of education at Washington University in St. Jeff Roberson, a native of Baldwyn, Mississippi, has spent nearly 30 years as a writer and editor in Oxford, Mississippi, mainly covering Ole Miss sports. Lyn Roberts is the general manager of the Square Books family of stores on the historic square in Oxford, Mississippi.
James L. Robertson focuses on folk encountering their constitutions and laws, in their courthouses and country stores, and in their daily lives, animating otherwise dry and inaccessible parchments. Robertson begins at statehood and continues through war and depression, well into the s. Each story is sprinkled with fascinating but heretofore unearthed facts and circumstances. Robertson delves into the prejudices and practices of the times, local landscapes, and daily life and its dependence on our social compact. He offers the unique perspective of a judge, lawyer, scholar, and history buff, each role having tempered the lessons of the others.
He focuses on a people, enriching encounters most know little about. Robertson, Jackson, Mississippi, is a practicing lawyer and active life member of the American Law Institute. A graduate of the Harvard Law School, he served on the Supreme Court of Mississippi for ten years and taught law at the University of Mississippi and elsewhere. Polly Rosenwaike has published stories, essays, and reviews in The O. He also co-wrote a episode of the PBS series American Experience about the War of the Worlds broadcast, based in part on his thesis research. His writing career has garnered more than 50 awards for fiction, poetry, speeches and feature articles.
During the years he spent researching and writing The Graceland Conspiracy, he often paused to publish other work. George Singleton has published eight collections of stories, two novels, and a book of writing advice. Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Her novel The Everlasting is forthcoming in March She earned a B. In , she earned a J.
In , President George H. Bush nominated her to the U. Deb Spera was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two of her three children. She is a finalist for The Montana Prize in fiction and a two-time finalist for the Kirkwood literary prize. Yoga Journal. Confessions of An Undercover Agent describes his harrowing experiences during a decade of undercover crime fighting and narrow escapes.
Playing different roles, he infiltrated rings of burglars and safecrackers, drug trafficking groups, Dixie Mafia autotheft rings, Mafia and Mexican drug smuggling operations, and fought police corruption. He capped off a unique career by becoming a career federal prosecutor. He volunteered and served three tours in Iraq for the U. S Department of Justice. First as an attorney-advisor to the Iraqi court that tried Saddam Hussein and other regime leaders.
Suzanne Stabile is an Enneagram Master Teacher. Her winsome, narrative style of teaching connects with audiences of all sizes and ages. Her week small group curriculum, The Enneagram Journey, provides an opportunity for groups to use Enneagram wisdom to travel towards health and wholeness together. Suzanne is also the host of the popular podcast, The Enneagram Journey. An interview style podcast, The Enneagram Journey seeks to promote community, patience, and tolerance through a growing understanding of the differences and similarities that undergird our humanity.
Suzanne makes her home in Dallas, Texas, with her husband Rev. Her debut novel, Drowning is Inevitable, was published in Nick and June Were Here is her sophomore novel. Robert St. John is a restaurateur, chef, columnist, and author. John has spent almost four decades in the restaurant business. For 20 years he has written a weekly syndicated newspaper column. John is the author of ten books, including three previous collaborations with watercolorist Wyatt Waters. John, his wife, and his two children traveled through 17 countries on two continents for six months. He and Waters lead group tours to Italy twice a year.
John and Wyatt Waters which begins airing on October 12 th. In , St. John founded Extra Table, a non-profit organization that purchases healthy foods and provides them to soup kitchens and mission pantries throughout Mississippi. He serves on Clarksdale Tourism Commission and occasionally tours Mississippi bluesmen overseas. More information at www. Her third novel, Jackpot, will be published October 15, Nic resides in Atlanta with her family. You can follow her on Twitter at getnicced and on Instagram at nicstone. Jonathan Stutzman is an award-winning independent filmmaker and writer of books for children.
His short films have screened around the world and on television, and he is a contributing writer to the bestselling collection The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories and Emmy-winning variety show HitRecord on TV. He is a staunch believer in the power of stories and the deliciousness of donuts. Jonathan lives in the wilds of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and as you read this, he is probably writing something new. Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi, as indicated by her accent.
She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She can also still rap if needed. Her second novel, On the Come Up, is on sale now. Natasha Trethewey, two-term U. Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, and Heinz Award recipient, has written five collections of poetry and one book of nonfiction.
She lives in Evanston, Illinois.
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Tammy L. Turner holds a doctoral degree in music history from the University of Mississippi. Her areas of interest are classical and vernacular styles of twentieth century music, particularly blues music. She currently resides in Kentucky. She returned to the Gulf South in first to Tulane and then to the University of Southern Mississippi, where she is now an associate professor of history. She currently serves on the boards of the Gulf South Historical Association, the Mississippi Historical Society, and the electronic version of the Mississippi Encyclopedia. Jonathan D. He lives in North Carolina with his family.
Visit his website to learn more. My name is Hezekiah Watkins. In , the Freedom Riders set out to desegregate buses and stations in the south. As they made their way into Mississippi, they were arrested for breach of peace. He moved to Los Angeles with his band, The Gordian Knot, in and achieved success, mainly as a songwriter. He has proved himself a trailblazer with his involvement in the Mississippi Blues and Country Music Trails and spearheading the Mississippi Writers Trail which broke ground September Prior to his tenure at MAC, he worked in the hospitality industry, running a popular restaurant and founding special events and festivals throughout the state.
Throughout his career, he has been a member of and served on the committees of numerous civic organizations. He is currently at work on a new novel. Fell in love with the studly stoic H Drum was way hot, he was sizzling and somehow managed to be both alpha male and still sweet The h was also great She considered herself plain and too nice, but circumstances proved her to be confident, strong willed andthan a match for the H It was wonderful how the author show cased how perfect the H h were for one another Action A great setting Lots of witty dialogue Tremendous secondary characters Funny and hot My favourite combination.
Fell in love with the studly stoic H Drum was way hot, he was sizzling and somehow managed to be both alpha male and still sweet The h was also great She considered her Sigh, this was pretty much perfect There was action, a sense of pervasive fun, lots of snappy dialogue that had me smiling and often laughing and most of all it had a hot, hot romance, that also has some surprisingly sweet elements. Drum, our H, a hulking warrior, was just great Alpha, protective, slyly funny and downright dreamy. Nell, our h, was Drum, the H, is just so darn yummy Macho, yet kind, gruff but with a sly sense of humor The h, Nell, really was his perfect match She was feisty, independent and smart Fun circumstances throw these two together loving the match maker manipulations again and again Sparks fly Lots of humour and witty dialogue There was action, bad guys, layered fun interesting secondary characters and a hot romance that the author did a really nice job of leading up to, so that it had depth it was sw Drum, the H, is just so darn yummy Macho, yet k There is nothing I lovein a book than an h that dishes out the schooling Especially when it s to an over protective, over bearing, smug, full of his own I am male see me pound my chest alpha male Don t get me wrong I adore the above mentioned H especially when it s mixed with a sweet gooey soft inside under all the posturing, those are the very best kind of Alpha H, and Jane Cousins seems to be gifted in writing them perfectly This book will go to the top of my favorite list, along with There i Now Dr Nell Montgomery really believes you ll never overhear anything good about yourself after she heard her friends declare her the most boring of their classmates as they plan a reunion then her cackling matchmaking aunt and the Goddess Maat decided she was too nice for a warrior mating and needed a stuttering accountant that lived with mom Fed up, Nell proce Funny, sweet, witty and steamy with just enough action to keep me glued to my kindle Loved the two main characters, from the moment they meet you know they are meant to be together Both have image problems but can see the other for who they Nell is tired of being the boring, help everyone, good girl and decides to bed a bad boy to change her reputation She sets her sight on Maat Warrior, Drum at her cousin s melding ceremony, but it doesn t go quite as expected.