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  In the spring of 2001, three women enlisted in the Indiana National Guard. Each had her own idea of what a stint in the Guard might mean — free education, a sense of purpose, extra money. But just months after they signed up, the 9/11 attacks occurred and what they thought would be a couple days of drills each month turned into long overseas deployments.

In her new book, Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War, Helen Thorpe follows the lives of Desma Brooks, Michelle Fischer and Debbie Helton for 12 years.

  Delia and Nora Ephron were writing partners; they co-wrote the movies You've Got Mail and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants as well as the off-Broadway hit Love, Loss and What I Wore. Delia was an assistant producer on Nora's film Sleepless in Seattle.

In her latest book, Sister Mother Husband Dog, novelist Delia Ephron writes that losing her older sister, Nora Ephron, was like "losing an arm, it's that deranging." Nora, who wrote When Harry Met Sally, died of acute myeloid leukemia in June 2012.

But for all their collaboration and closeness, Delia acknowledges that sister relationships are complicated. Sister Mother Husband Dog is a collection of autobiographical essays.

"Updike" By Adam Begley

Aug 20, 2014

    

  In this magisterial biography, Adam Begley offers an illuminating portrait of John Updike, the acclaimed novelist, poet, short-story writer, and critic who saw himself as a literary spy in small-town and suburban America, who dedicated himself to the task of transcribing “middleness with all its grits, bumps and anonymities.”

  Lydia Davis is renowned in literary circles for perfecting the craft of the “extremely short short story.” She is the winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, one of world literature’s most prestigious prizes.

Her latest collection is can’t and won’t - stories.

    In its Touchstones author series, The Mount in Lenox, MA welcomes journalist/author Kate Bolick for a series of interviews with leading writers.

The August 15 program will feature Joanna Smith Rakoff whose new memoir, My Salinger Year, was recently released in June and is an Amazon Best Book pick for summer reading!

The Sendak Fellowship was established in 2010 as a residency program for artists who tell stories with illustration. The fellowship offers the time for artists to explore their craft outside the limitations of everyday life and in the relative isolation of a rural setting.

    At twenty-three, after leaving graduate school to pursue her dreams of becoming a poet, Joanna Rakoff moved to New York City and took a job as assistant to the storied literary agent for J. D. Salinger. She was tasked with answering Salinger’s voluminous fan mail.

Her memoir of that time is called: My Salinger Year.

  Bestselling author Paul Doiron is the editor in chief of Down East: The Magazine of Maine. A native of Maine, he attended Yale University and holds an MFA from Emerson College. His first book, The Poacher's Son, is the winner of the Barry award, the Strand award for best first novel, and a finalist for the Edgar and Anthony awards. His latest book is The Bone Orchard.

  Deborah Harkness is a scholar and writer specializing in the history of science and medicine. She has received numerous awards, including Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships. Currently a professor of history at the University of Southern California, she is the author of the New York Times bestselling All Souls Trilogy, and the final book in that trilogy, The Book of Life, is out today.

  American audiences have fallen in love with Jojo Moyes. Ever since she debuted stateside, she has captivated readers and reviewers alike, and hit the New York Times bestseller list with the word-of-mouth sensation, Me Before You.

Now, with One Plus One, she’s written another contemporary opposites-attract love story. One Plus One tells the tale of Jess Thomas, a single mother and housecleaner in a southern England seaside town, and the thrown-together relationship she develops with one of her clients, the wealthy, hopelessly geeky Ed Nicholls.

Shirley Jackson Day

Jun 26, 2014

    

  It is Shirley Jackson Day – commemorating the day her famous story, "The Lottery," was published in The New Yorker. We welcome Susan Scarf Merrell whose new novel is Shirley - a psychological thriller set at Bennington College in the 1960s.

A young woman who moves with her professor husband into the home of novelist Shirley Jackson and Jackson’s husband, Stanley Edgar Hyman, narrate the book. She uncovers a chilling connection between the celebrated couple and the disappearance of a young co-ed on campus years before.

    

  Justin Kramon is a Philadelphia-based writer whose first novel was Finny and who’s latest is The Preservationist. The popular novel is about a thrilling love triangle that takes place between three college students.

The Preservationist stars Julia, a damaged young woman who finds herself in the sights of two men, one a fellow college student, the other older and an employee of a restaurant she frequents. So, the big question – which one is the psycho.

Kramon has also taught at several universities, including Haverford and Arcadia.

    The Truth is a Cave in The Black Mountains is a four-color edition of Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novelette, illustrated by renowned artist Eddie Campbell. It tells a haunting story of family, the otherworld, and a search for hidden treasure.

  This Friday, Carnegie Hall will present a synchronized multimedia storytelling event with Neil Gaiman reading The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains with projected illustrations from the book and a live underscore by the FourPlay String Quartet. The event was originally commissioned by the Sydney Opera House for its GRAPHIC Festival.

    

  Mona Simpson is the acclaimed and award-winning author of Anywhere But Here and My Hollywood.

Miles Adler-Hart starts eavesdropping to find out what his mother is planning for his life. When he learns instead that his parents are separating, his investigation deepens, and he enlists his best friend, Hector, to help. Both boys are in thrall to Miles’s unsuspecting mother, Irene, who is “pretty for a mathematician.” They rifle through her dresser drawers, bug her telephone lines, and strip-mine her computer, only to find that all clues lead them to her bedroom, and put them on the trail of a mysterious stranger from Washington, D.C.

Their amateur detective work starts innocently but quickly takes them to the far reaches of adult privacy as they acquire knowledge that will affect the family’s well-being, prosperity, and sanity.

  When, at thirteen, he caught on as a sportswriter for the Anoka Herald, Garrison Keillor set out to become a professional writer. And so he has done - a storyteller, sometime comedian, essayist, newspaper columnist, screenwriter, poet.

Now a single volume brings together the full range of his work: monologues from A Prairie Home Companion, stories from The New Yorker and The Atlantic, excerpts from novels, newspaper columns. The Keillor Reader also presents pieces never before published.

Garrison Keillor is the founder and host of A Prairie Home Companion, celebrating its fortieth anniversary in 2014. He is the author of nineteen books of fiction and humor, the editor of the Good Poems collections, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

He has a trio of events in our region over the next few days - in the meantime, welcome Garrison Keillor to The Roundtable.

    In The Trip to Echo Spring, Olivia Laing examines the link between creativity and alcohol through the work and lives of six extraordinary men: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever, and Raymond Carver.

All six of these writers were alcoholics, and the subject of drinking surfaces in some of their finest work, from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to A Moveable Feast. Often, they did their drinking together: Hemingway and Fitzgerald ricocheting through the cafés of Paris in the 1920s; Carver and Cheever speeding to the liquor store in Iowa in the icy winter of 1973.

Olivia Laing grew up in an alcoholic family herself. One spring, wanting to make sense of this ferocious, entangling disease, she took a journey across America that plunged her into the heart of these overlapping lives. As she travels from Cheever’s New York to Williams’s New Orleans, and from Hemingway’s Key West to Carver’s Port Angeles, she pieces together a topographical map of alcoholism, from the horrors of addiction to the miraculous possibilities of recovery.

  In The Other Language, Francesca Marciano, the acclaimed author of Rules of the Wild, gives us nine incandescently smart stories, funny, elegant, and poignant by turns, that explore the power of change—in relationships, in geographies, and across cultures—to reveal unexpected aspects of ourselves.

Francesca Marciano will be in Albany today participating in two New York State Writer's Institute events.

NYPD Red 2

Apr 9, 2014

    

  When NYPD Red arrives at a crime scene, everyone takes notice. Known as the protectors of the rich, famous, and connected, NYPD Red is the elite task force called in only for New York City's most high-profile crimes. And Detective Zach Jordan is the best of the best, a brilliant and relentless pursuer of justice. He puts professionalism above all, ignoring his feelings for his partner, Detective Kylie MacDonald, the woman who broke his heart when they first met in the academy.

We welcome Marshall Karp back to the show to talk about NYPD Red 2, which he co-authored with James Patterson.

    

  George Saunders’ Tenth of December was named one of the best books of last year by The New York Times Magazine, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, New York, Kirkus Reviews, BookPage, Shelf Awareness, and People. It was a National Book Award finalist and won the Folio prize.

The collection of short stories scriven in Saunder’s signature sportive and startling style is now available in paperback.

    Mary Higgins Clark, #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-three suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story; two children’s books, including The Magical Christmas Horse; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges.

In her latest novel, I've Got You Under My Skin, Laurie Moran’s husband was brutally murdered and only three-year-old Timmy saw the face of his father’s killer. Five years later his piercing blue eyes still haunt Timmy’s dreams. Laurie is haunted by more—the killer’s threat to her son as he fled the scene: “Tell your mother she’s next, then it’s your turn . . .”

    

  There is nothing like a good literary festival, especially when it takes over an entire municipality.

The 3rd Annual Read Local Red Hook Literary Festival will take place next weekend, April 11th and 12th, throughout the village. The festival is full of free events celebrating local authors and featuring the likes of James Romm, Valerie Martin and Gail Godwin.

We get a preview this morning from two of the organizers - Suzanna Hermans of Oblong Books and Music and Juliet Harrison of Red Hook Community Arts Network.

    

  The Woodstock Writers Festival is a collection of writers and their readers who meet for the weekend in Woodstock, NY from April 3-6th. It is the 4th annual event and there are plenty of events and panels. There will be panels on fiction, biography, journalism and a look at the writing of memoir.

Among the writers who will be on hand are Steven Tobolowsky, Jennifer Clement, Domenica Ruta, MK Asante, J. Michael Lennon and Henry Bushkin. To tell us more we welcome Festival Organizer Martha Frankel and festival headliners Abigail Thomas, Kitty Sheehan and James Howard Kunstler.

   

    In E. B. White on Dogs, the author's granddaughter and manager of his literary estate, Martha White, has compiled the best and funniest of his essays, poems, letters, and sketches depicting over a dozen of White's various canine companions.

  After three acclaimed novels (The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Absurdistan: A Novel, and Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel), Gary Shteyngart turns to memoir with Little Failure, a candid, witty, deeply poignant account of his life so far.

Gary Shteyngart will present the annual Krieger Memorial Lecture on March 27 at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY.

  Lawyer-turned-novelist David Baldacci is best-known for his best-selling page-turners. Since the 1996 publication of his debut novel, Absolute Power, Baldacci has published 27 books for adults, plus three for young readers.

His latest is the YA novel, The Finisher. In the book, we meet “Vega Jane.” We are also introduced to Baldacci’s mythical world of Wormwood, where townsfolk, known as Wugmorts, live in constant fear of the dense and mysterious “Quag” that surrounds them.

    Neil Gaiman, one of the world's most beloved fantasy authors, is known for his eclectic work including: The Sandman, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline and The Graveyard Book.

Now he's written his first novel for adults in eight years, The Ocean at the End of the Lane - a bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic which makes the impossible all too real.


    Andre Dubus III is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, House of Sand and Fog, and the memoir, Townie. In his new collection of novellas, Dirty Love, he tells stories of love tainted and gone wrong.

Novelist John Irving is known for his legendary novels, The World According to Garp, The Hotel New Hampshire, A Widow for One Year and A Prayer for Owen Meany.

Irving will help kick off this week’s Williamstown Film Festival when he’ll speak with Williams College professor Jim Shepard about Irving’s Oscar-winning adaptation of his novel The Cider House Rules

Based on a story by Pete Hamill, two friends from a Brooklyn grammar school reconnect and realize the impact they and their work had on each other. A Poet Long Ago, directed by Bob Giraldi, screens at FilmColumbia in Chatham, NY during their shorts program on Sunday.

In the film, Sonny, a sanitation worker, and Malloy, a newspaper writer, meet by chance and reminisce about their grammar school days together back in 1970s Brooklyn. Immediately an old wound is opened; flashbacks show how the least likely of the pair had his astonishing gift of writing poetry beaten out of him forever by the narrow-minded father hell-bent on protecting him.

Bob Giraldi is a longtime director who has done everything from directing the film, Dinner Rush, to directing the music video for Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” Pete Hamill is widely known for his contributions to the New York Post and the New York Daily News as a columnist and editor.

Sara Paretsky 

Oct 23, 2013

In Critical Mass, private investigator V.I. Warshawski is asked by her closest friend Lotty for urgent help. Lotty lost most of her family in the Holocaust, and escaped to London in 1939 on the Kindertransport with a childhood playmate.

When Kitty’s daughter finds her life to be suddenly in danger, she calls Lotty, who, in turn, summons V.I. to aid them.

Sara Paretsky is the author of nineteen books, the most recent of which was Critical Mass. Paretsky was named 2011 Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and she joins us this morning.

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