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Paul Theroux's The Lower River , is the story of Ellis Hock, also a former Peace Corps volunteer. He longs to return to the Malawian village where he volunteered decades earlier, hoping to revisit a different, better chapter of his life. Paul Theroux is the author of many highly acclaimed books.

The 2005 publication of Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles changed author and former sniper Anthony Swofford’s life. The Gulf War memoir became a best-seller and inspired a film adaptation starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

This is a special Off the Shelf edition of The Book Show – taped before a live audience at the Manchester Elementary Middle School in Manchester, Vermont presented by The Northshire Bookstore.

copyright © Robert Birnbaum

During the summer of 1972, five men were arrested in the middle of the night for breaking into the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate office building in Washington, D.C.

Joe Donahue speaks with Madeline Miller about her book, The Song of Achilles: A Novel.

Albany, NY – With five decades' worth of experience in the academic world, William Chace's new book "100 Semesters: my adventures as student, professor and university president, and what I learned along the way" holds many insights into the evolution of higher education in America and the obstacles it now faces. Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina talks to the author about campus politics, finances and much more.

Albany, NY – Exiled Kenyan writer Ngugi Wa Thiong'o talks to Gretchen about his new novel "Wizard of the Crow," which was 10 years in the making. It tells the story of two revolutionaries in a fictional African country who rail against their dictatorial govenrment. Gretchen and Ngugi discuss the power of words to topple governments and Thiong'o's experience returning to his country two years ago.

Albany, NY – Ward Just's 15th novel, "Forgetfulness," tells the story of a portrait artist with a prior history of intelligence work who finds himself grappling with his own feelings when he is given the opportunity to confront the terrorists who murdered his wife. Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina talks to the author about artists as good protagonists and musical influences on writing.

Albany, NY – Award-winning novelist Monica Ali is the guest on this week's show, talking about her latest novel "Alentejo Blue." The book tells a number of intertwining stories about the residents of a small Portuguese village, some natives, some expatriates. Ali discusses the book's non-linear structure and her individual take on the importance of research to a writer.

Albany, NY – Anthony Giardina's latest novel "White Guys" uses a true-crime story, that of a Boston man who shot and killed his pregnant wife and blamed it on a black man, as its inspiration. Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina talks to Giardina about his novel, a tale of a group of Irish and Italian-American friends who navigate the cultural changes wrought by the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

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