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This Saturday, September 29, The New York State Writers Institute presents The Albany Book Festival. A fun way to celebrate authors, books and readers, the Albany Book Festival will run between 10a.m. and 4p.m. at UAlbany's uptown campus. Kicking off with a dance party, the Albany Book Festival presents conversations on genres such as food, mystery, history, and memoirs of new Americans.

The festival will feature renowned authors Doris Kearns Goodwin, Walter Mosley, Khizr Khan, Gregory Maguire and many more.

Joining us today is Director of New York State Writers Institute Paul Grondahl and Co-Director of Grassroot Givers Mary Partridge-Brown.

Linda Fairstein was chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of the district attorney's office in Manhattan for more than two decades and is America's foremost legal expert on sexual assault and domestic violence. Her Alexandra Cooper novels are international bestsellers and have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Her new sleuth, Devlin Quick, takes inspiration from Nancy Drew. The first Devlin Quick Mystery is out now, it's entitled Into the Lion's Den. In the novel, someone has stolen a page from a rare book in the New York Public Library. At least, that’s what Devlin’s friend Liza thinks she’s seen, but she can’t be sure. Any other kid might not see a crime here, but Devlin Quick is courageous and confident, and she knows she has to bring this man to justice—even if it means breathlessly racing around the city to collect evidence.

Linda Fairstein will be at The Albany Book Festival at UAlbany on September 29. At noon, she will be part of a Middle Readers Mystery Panel in the Campus Center Studio West and an Adult Mystery Panel from 1:30 – 2:30 in the Campus Center Ballroom. 

Haystack Book Talks brings writers into conversation on a wide range of topics to celebrate ideas and discourse. Tucked away in the beautiful wooded hills of Northwestern Connecticut, Norfolk provides an intimate setting for the festival. Literary conversations are scheduled for October 13 and 14 in downtown Norfolk, CT.

We are joined by Haystack Book Talks founder Stephen Melville; Eliza Little, a member of the Haystack Book Talks executive committee and a post doctoral fellow at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station; and Dawn Whalen, executive director of The Norfolk Foundation.

For well over thirty years, T. Jefferson Parker has been a legend in the mystery-thriller genre. C.J. Box called Parker “the poet of American crime fiction,” and Ridley Pearson noted, “There are few if any crime writers out there this good.”

Parker is perhaps best known for both his Charlie Hood and Merci Rayborn series, as well as over a dozen standalone thrillers. Last year, he began a new mystery series, starring San Diego–based private detective Roland Ford, a former Marine with deep ties to the Southern California community. Parker returns with "Swift Vengeance," the second book in his new series.

In "Swift Vengeance," Roland Ford is on the trail of a mysterious killer who is beheading CIA drone operators and leaving puzzling clues at each crime scene.

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe. Her latest is “Pieces Of Her.” It is her eighteenth novel and it will be produced for TV by the women who have directed and written for “Homeland,” “Mad Men” and “House of Cards.”

“Pieces of Her” asks: What if everything you thought you knew about your quiet, middle-age mother was wrong? What if she has spent the past 30 years hiding in plain sight? What if, when violence erupts at your local mall and a shooter goes on a rampage, the person who stops him, dead, is your mother? What if everything you thought you knew changed in an instant? “Pieces of Her” follows Andrea, a woman who thought she knew everything about her mother, Laura, until the moment she realized she didn’t, and their world unravels.

Aaron Thier’s new novel, "The World is a Narrow Bridge," is a darkly comic road novel about a millennial couple facing the ultimate question: how to live and love in an age of catastrophe.

Here’s the setup:  Young Miami couple Murphy and Eva have almost decided to have a baby when Yahweh, the Old Testament God, appears to Eva and makes an unwelcome demand: He wants her to be his prophet. He also wants her to manage his social media presence.

Equal parts hilarious and poignant, "The World Is a Narrow Bridge" asks: What kind of hope can we pass on to the next generation in a frightening but beautiful world? Thier’s previous novels include "Mr. Eternity" and "The Ghost Apple."

He will be at The Bookstore in Lenox, MA for a joint launch party with Sarah Trudgeon ("The Plot Against the Baby") at 5:30 tonight.

Curtis Sittenfeld is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels “Prep,” “American Wife,” and “Eligible.” Now in “You Think It, I’ll Say It,” her first collection of short fiction, she showcases ten stories that upend assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided.

Rachel Kadish’s new novel The Weight of Ink is set in London. It is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect – one an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; the other an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.

Philip Roth has died at the age of 85. The Pulitzer, National Book Award, and Man Booker International Prize-winning novelist first had success in 1959 with his short story collection, “Goodbye, Columbus.”  A decade later “Portnoy's Complaint” earned him great notoriety and a place in the American canon. His 1997 work, “American Pastoral,” won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

We spoke with Philip Roth in 2008 when his novel “Indignation” was published. In this archival interview we talk about his career and process. 

South Jersey, circa 1983: A distinctive sub-region, as if a section of the south or Midwest was grafted onto the east coast. Francis, a defrocked college student who has made a mess of both his scholastic career and his life, finds himself back home at the Jersey shore and gainfully employed at a sprawling, subterranean gas station.

“Petroleum Transfer Engineer” is not just Francis’s story, but is also the chronicle of a time and place that is slowly disappearing: The farmland, little eateries, and raucous bars giving way to development; the resorts of Atlantic City morphing into its soulless casino incarnation. Francis must navigate a terrain that is simultaneously familiar and off-kilter. Somehow, he must struggle to piece his life back together.

Richard Klin lives in New York’s Hudson Valley. He is the author of “Something to Say: Thoughts on Art and Politics in America and Abstract Expressionism For Beginners.” He will be at the Golden Notebook in Woodstock, New York for a reading and signing on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.

"If I Die Tonight" is the latest stand-alone novel from Edgar nominee Alison Gaylin.

Gaylin, a USA Today bestselling author, is known for her well-drawn characters and emotionally driven, psychological suspense.

"If I Die Tonight" highlights dynamic characters, family drama, and absorbing plot twists. After a high school outcast falls under suspicion for the murder of another student, Gaylin taps into the fears of a small-town community and a parent’s worst nightmares.

Peter Golden
http://www.petergolden.com

Peter Golden is the author of the new novel, "Nothing Is Forgotten," about a young man from New Jersey who travels to Khrushchev’s Russia, where he discovers love and the long-buried secrets of his heritage.

Golden’s previous novels include "Wherever There Is Light" and "Comeback Love." An award-winning journalist, Golden has interviewed many world leaders, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, Yitzhak Rabin, and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Golden will be joined by first-time novelist Sara Nović for a pair of New York State Writers Institute events on April 17.  The events are cosponsored by UAlbany’s Disability Resource Center, State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education, and Friends of the New York State Library

Salman Rushdie
Wall Street Journal

The New York State Writers Institute and the UAlbany Speaker Series presents Salman Rushdie in an afternoon craft talk and evening presentation on Thursday, April 19.

Rushdie's new novel is The New York Times bestseller, "The Golden House," a parable of contemporary America set against the backdrop of current American culture and politics. We spoke with Rushdie on The Book Show when the book was published and this is an encore presentation of that interview.

No writer plunged more wholeheartedly into the chaotic energies of the 1960s than Norman Mailer, as he fearlessly revolutionized literary norms and genres to capture the political, social, and sexual explosions of an unsettled era.

Library of America has released a new boxed set of Mailer's work from that decade. There are two novels, two booklength masterpieces of new journalism, and thirty-three essays.

J. Michael Lennon emeritus professor of English at Wilkes University, is Norman Mailer's editor and biographer, and president of the Mailer Society. His books include "Norman Mailer: A Double Life" and "Selected Letters of Norman Mailer."

It's been more than two decades since award-winning author Charles Frazier had wild success with his debut novel, "Cold Mountain."

Frazier’s 4th novel, "Varina," returns to that era with the story of Varina Howell - the second wife of Jefferson Davis.

This is an Off The Shelf edition of The Book Show, presented by Northshire Bookstore and taped live in front of an audience.

It has been one hundred years since Agatha Christie wrote her first novel and created the formidable Hercule Poirot. Award winning biographer, Laura Thompson now turns her sharp eye to Agatha Christie. Arguably the greatest crime writer in the world, Christie's books still sell over four million copies each year - more than thirty years after her death - and sales show no signs of slowing.

But who was the woman behind these mystifying, yet eternally pleasing, puzzlers? Thompson's book is "Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life."

It may be hard to believe, but this year - 2018 - marks the 9th annual Woodstock Bookfest. And they will be busily igniting the conversation by bringing readers and writers together for a weekend of discussion and celebration.

Taking place from March 22nd – 25th, they’ll host classes, panels, keynotes, Story Slams, parties and more, all in the unique surroundings of Woodstock.

Martha Frankel is the Executive Director of the Woodstock Bookfest.

For many today, retirement and the leisure said to accompany it have become vestiges of a slower, long‑lost time. In a world where the sense of identity is tied to work and careers, to stop working often is to become nobody.

In this "Last Works: Lessons in Leaving," Mark C. Taylor explores the final reflections of writers and thinkers from Kierkegaard to David Foster Wallace. How did they either face or avoid ending and leaving? What do their lessons in ending teach us about living in the time that remains for us?

Mark C. Taylor is professor of religion at Columbia University and a frequent contributor to the New York Times and NPR.

Renée Shafransky is a writer and psychotherapist. Her articles and essays have appeared in various publications including the Village Voice, Condé Nast Traveler, and the Southampton Review. She has written screenplays for major motion picture studios and teleplays for HBO and PBS, working with renowned directors such as Harold Ramis. Previously married to actor and writer Spalding Gray, Ms. Shafransky produced the acclaimed film of his monologue, "Swimming to Cambodia," directed by Jonathan Demme.

She joins us to discuss her first novel, a mystery entitled "Tips for Living."

The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway cover
Scribner

Ernest Hemingway is rightly celebrated for his indelible novels, but the 20th century titan was writing short stories from his high school days until almost the end. Many are well known to readers, like the Nick Adams stories and The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Others not as much. Like with his most famous novels, Hemingway was an inveterate editor of his short stories, often returning to revise the text after years. Now, you can see that rigorous process play out in the Hemingway Library edition of The Short Stories, published by Scribner. The book features a foreword by Seán Hemingway, the author’s grandson and a curator at The Met.

George Saunders is the author of eight books, including the story collections “Pastoralia” and “Tenth of December,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award. His first novel, “Lincoln in the Bardo,” was released last year and won the Man Book Prize.

The book visits the cemetery where President Abraham and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln’s son, Willie, has just been entombed. The other characters are the less-recently dead who encourage the boy to cross over. “Lincoln in the Bardo” is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. 

Lois Lowry and Joe Donahue at Page Hall
Sarah LaDuke

Lois Lowry is a leading voice of children’s literature and the author of more than 30 books. She is known for work that explores such complex issues as racism, terminal illness, murder, and the Holocaust. She received the Newbery Medal for both "The Giver" and "Number the Stars." In 2007 Lowry received the Margaret Edwards Award from the American Library Association for her lasting contribution to young adult literature.

This interview was recorded at Page Hall as part of the "The Creative Life Series" created and produced by the New York State Writers Institute, University Art Museum, and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in collaboration with WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

Tom Perrotta’s novel, "Mrs. Fletcher," is a provocative and very funny look at parenthood, the empty nest, and sex in the suburbs.

Perrotta is the author of eight works of fiction including "Election," "Joe College" and "Little Children." His novel "The Leftovers" was adapted into an HBO series. 

Nick Harkaway is the author of such novels as “The Gone-Away World” and “Tigerman.”

His latest, “Gnomon,” is set in a near-future, high-tech surveillance state that is equal parts dark comedy, detective story, and mind-bending philosophical puzzle.

Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, NY has partnered with Yaddo to bring the best in new writing and new ideas to the Capital District for the speaker series “Yaddo Presents.”

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the Trump Inauguration and this anthology features original short stories from thirty bestselling and award-winning authors, grappling with the fundamental ideals of a free, just, and compassionate democracy through fiction.

The anthology is a beautiful collection that looks to resonate with anyone concerned with the contest for our American soul.

Anthology editor Jonathan Santlofer and contributor  Russell Banks will discuss the book and their work this Thursday, February 1st at Northshire Books in Saratoga Springs.

Arundhati Roy published her first novel, The God of Small Things, back in 1997 and now Roy is back with a new novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.

In it, she weaves among other threads, the story of a transgender woman in Delhi and a Kashmiri freedom fighter while also shining a spotlight on modern India.

The creator of the award-winning TV series "Mad Men" has just written a debut novel - about family, power and privilege.

In "Heather, the Totality," Mark and Karen Breakstone have constructed the idyllic life of wealth and status they always wanted, made complete by their beautiful and extraordinary daughter Heather. But they are still not quite at the top. When the new owners of the penthouse above them begin construction, an unstable stranger penetrates the security of their comfortable lives and threatens to destroy everything they've created.

Matthew Weiner has been entertaining audiences for two decades, most recently as writer, creator, executive producer, and director of "Mad Men," one of television's most honored series. He also worked as a writer and executive producer on "The Sopranos."

On Saturday night at 7:30 pm, Weiner will appear as part of the popular “Yaddo Presents” series. This event will take place in Gannett Auditorium at Skidmore College. Weiner will be interviewed on stage by Elaina Richardson, President of Yaddo, about "Heather, the Totality," which was written at Yaddo.

The American sports stadium, for all its raucous glory, is an overlooked centerpiece -- a veritable temple -- of our national culture. A hallowed ground for communal worship, this is where history is made on grass, artificial turf, hardwood, and even ice; where nostalgia flows as freely as ten-dollar beers; where everything thrills, from exploding fireworks to grinning cheerleaders.

If you’ve ever wondered how they coordinate those fighter jet flyovers with the national anthem, how many hot dogs they serve in a day at Citi Field, how boozy pregame tailgates are kept in line, or what on earth AstroTurf is made of, look no further.

Rafi Kohan is a freelance writer and editor, and an amateur ivy groomer. Formerly, he served as deputy editor at the New York Observer and has written for GQ, Men’s Journal, Wall Street Journal, Town & Country, ESPN.com, and more. His new book is The Arena.

Yellowstone is America's premier national park. Today Yellowstone is often a byword for conservation, natural beauty, and a way for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors. But it was not always this way. Wonderlandscape presents a new perspective on Yellowstone, the emotions that various natural wonders and attractions evoke, and how this explains the park's relationship to America as a whole.

John Clayton is an independent author, journalist, essayist, and ghostwriter based in Montana. His new book is Wonderlandscape: Yellowstone National Park and the Evolution of an American Cultural Icon.

Frances Moore Lappé - author of her new book - Daring Democracy will be speaking at this weekend’s Earthcare Festival at the Bryant Homestead in Cummington, Massachusetts on Saturday, September 16th. 

In her keynote talk, Lappé will discuss her personal and intellectual journey since her groundbreaking 1971 bestseller, Diet for a Small Planet, and then address global hunger and her vision for democracy as necessary to creating sustainable ways of living and a livable and peaceful planet.

The Earthcare Festival is the third program presented by the Hilltown Chautauqua of Western Massachusetts and has as its theme “Food, Farms, and the Future.”

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