literature

Basilica Hudson, in partnership with the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) will host the first READ & FEED this Saturday, July 30th. The event brings together artisanal makers of food with artisanal makers of literature.

This inaugural “mini-festival” will feature panel discussions bringing together writers, farmers and chefs, cooking and mixology demonstrations, a marathon reading of John Cage Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse), and a marketplace featuring more than twenty small press publishers and artisanal food makers, plus spectacular eats and drinks.

Here to tell us more are: Jeffrey Lependorf, CLMP’s Executive Director; Lisa Pearson, publisher of Siglio Press and the John Cage Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse); and Michael Albin, proprietor of Hudson Wine Merchants.

  Novelist and Williams College Professor Alison Case joins us this morning to discuss her reimagining of Wuthering Heights. The new book is Nelly Dean: A Return to Wuthering Heights - a gripping and heartbreaking novel that re-imagines life at Wuthering Heights through the eyes of the Earnshaws’ loyal servant, Nelly Dean.

Nelly Dean is an inspired accompaniment to Emily Bronte’s adored work. It is the story of a woman who is fated to bear the pain of a family she is unable to leave, and unable to save.

  In the early seventeenth century, a crippled, graying, almost toothless veteran of Spain's wars against the Ottoman Empire published a book. It was the story of a poor nobleman, his brain addled from reading too many books of chivalry, who deludes himself that he is a knight errant and sets off on hilarious adventures. That book, Don Quixote, went on to sell more copies than any other book beside the Bible, making its author, Miguel de Cervantes, the single most-read author in human history. Cervantes did more than just publish a bestseller, though. He invented a way of writing.

In The Man Who Invented Fiction William Egginton explores Cervantes's life and the world he lived in, showing how his influences converged in his work, and how his work--especially Don Quixote--radically changed the nature of literature and created a new way of viewing the world.

  New England in the late nineteenth century was home to a set of high-spirited and ambitious writers who were, for the first time, creating a distinctly American literature. From this close-knit literary society emerged Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne, who were known to be friends. In The Whale: A Love Story, novelist Mark Beauregard explores the boundaries of this friendship.

Through a nuanced reading of Melville’s real letters and other original sources, Beauregard offers the fictionalized story of two men who shared a deep, emotionally charged bond that may have transformed the writing—and meaning—of Moby-Dick. Scholars, academics, and essayists have written about Melville and Hawthorne’s relationship, trying to suss out what may have really happened between them.

The Mount
David-Dashiell / edithwharton.org

  The Mount is a turn-of-the-century home, designed and built by Edith Wharton in 1902 in Lenox, MA. A National Historic Landmark, today The Mount is a cultural center that celebrates the intellectual, artistic and humanitarian legacy of Edith Wharton.

The Mount’s executive director, Susan Wissler, joins us now to tell us what they have coming up this summer. 

  On November 29, 2007 Joseph Luzzi's life forever changed. His wife, Catherine, eight-and-a-half months pregnant, was killed in a car crash.

Before she died, doctors delivered their daughter, Isabel. His new memoir is In A Dark Wood. It tells the story how he dealt with his grief in part through the writings of Dante.

  Charlotte Brontë famously lived her entire life in an isolated parsonage on a remote English moor with a demanding father and siblings whose astonishing childhood creativity was a closely held secret.

Drawing on letters unavailable to previous biographers, Harman depicts Charlotte’s inner life with absorbing, almost novelistic intensity in her new book, Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart.

Jane Steele is Lyndsay Faye’s re-casting of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel Jane Eyre. Faye, the critically acclaimed author of the Timothy Wilde trilogy (The Gods of Gotham, Seven for a Secret, and The Fatal Flame) and Dust and Shadow, gives us a heroine from the mid-nineteenth century who is ready for the twenty-first.

She refuses to be victimized, insists on living life on her own terms, and not only pursues but defends the man she wants. The fact that she leaves several corpses in her wake, as a serial killer on the side of justice, makes for a satirical historical romance that is at once raucous and refined. 

  In Huck Finn’s America, award-winning biographer Andrew Levy shows how modern readers have been misunderstanding Huckleberry Finn for decades.

Twain’s masterpiece, which still sells tens of thousands of copies each year and is taught more than any other American classic, is often discussed either as a carefree adventure story for children or a serious novel about race relations, yet Levy argues convincingly it is neither.

 Amy Stewart is the author of six books including the best sellers, The Drunken Botanists and Wicked Plants, all were non-fiction; she now has written a novel. Girl Waits with Gun is the story of Constance Kopp a woman who doesn't quite fit the mold, she towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has kept mostly to her remote farm ever since a remote farm sent her household out of the country fifteen years ago. It is a true story she is writing about, but it is a fictional tale.   

  Lauren Groff returns to talk about her new novel, Fates and Furies.  Groff often writes about the tension between the individual and community. This novel shrinks community to just two, a marriage. It is told in two halves, from the opposing perspectives of a relationship.

Fates and Furies illuminates all the small ways we deceive, compromise, or cramp ourselves to sustain a partnership even a happy one, and even within so much intimacy the other partner's experience is so unknowable and mysterious. 

  For over half a century, The Paris Review has garnered a reputation for discovering exciting new writers whose eclectic, raw, and visionary voices have shaped the landscape of American literature. It has debuted authors such as Philip Roth, Rick Moody, and Adrienne Rich, and works that are now considered some of the greatest in modern literature—Jim Carroll’s The Basketball Diaries, Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections—made their first appearance in the pages of this legendary journal.

The Paris Review has continued its success seeking out and championing the works of emerging writers - which is on full display in Penguin’s new anthology, The Unprofessionals: New American Writing from The Paris Review, edited and curated by Lorin Stein.

Lorin Stein joined The Paris Review as its third editor in 2010. During his tenure, the Review has received two National Magazine Awards, as well as Webby honors, Pushcart Prizes, and O’Henry Awards.

  Fredrick Forsyth has been writing extraordinary novels of intrigue for almost forty years from the groundbreaking The Day of The Jackal to The Kill List.  Now Frederick Forsyth tells the story of his own remarkable life filled with events that, in many cases, inspired his fifteen novels. His new book is The Outsider: My Life In Intrigue.

In March 2000, just days after a highly anticipated successful gallery showing the acclaimed, Mark Lombardi, was found hanged in his Williamsburg apartment; it was immediately ruled as suicide, but the mysterious circumstances to his death following the recent onslaught of public attention towards his controversial art lead some people to question if his death was suicide or murder. 

Patricia Goldstone's Interlock: Art, Conspiracy, and the Shadow Worlds of Mark Lombardi is a comprehensive biography that explores Lombardi's life, his death, and his lasting impact on the art and technology community. 

Two authors with strong Albany ties Gregory Maguire and Barbara Smith will be honored at the second annual Literary Legends Event Saturday November 14th. The Literary Legends Event recognizes outstanding local authors, illustrators, and publishers for their extraordinary contributions to the art of letters. Maguire and Smith join last year's honorees William Kennedy, Paul Grondhal, and Amy Biancolli at Albany Literary Legends.

  For two decades Elizabeth George and her Inspector Lynley Series have been mainstays on bestseller lists across the country. In 2012 her seventeenth novel in the series landed on the top of The New York Times Bestsellers List, making her a #1 bestselling author for the first time. Now readers get another dose of the charming Inspector Lynley and his hot blooded colleague Barbara Havers in the new novel A Banquet of Consequences. 

Make Me by Lee Child

Oct 16, 2015

 The New York Times has called Lee Child “the best thrill writer of the moment” and the Los Angeles Times named him “the poster boy for American crime fiction.” With more than 100 million copies of his novels in print worldwide featuring his now iconic creation—ex Army cop and all-around tough guy Jack Reacher—Lee Child is hotter than ever! 

Child returns his new novel, Make Me , where Reacher encounters a case that proves to be one of the most challenging—and haunting—of his career. Most recently, Reacher was portrayed by Tom Cruise in the first film Jack Reacher. A second film will be out next year. It is a pleasure to welcome Lee Child to the Roundtable this morning. Lee, thanks for being here.

  From his childhood in factories and fishing boats to his earth shattering sailing adventure as an adult Jack London found himself face to face with the poor and the oppressed where ever he went and he recounted their stories in Gritty Detail. 

Certainly if you ask people about Jack London we tend to remember him as the author of the adventure stories White Fang and The Call of the Wild, but in her new biography Cecilia Tichi contends that Jack London was as much of a public intellectual as he was a writer. He was no apolitical adventurer but a reporter who through fiction and non fiction made no attempt to hide the horrors that he witness. The book is Jack London: A Writer's Fight for a Better America.

  On the eve of the publication of Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman, we speak with Marja Mills about her book, The Mockingbird Next Door.

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the best loved novels of the twentieth century. But for the last fifty years, the novel’s celebrated author, Harper Lee, known to her friends as Nelle, has said almost nothing on the record. Journalists have trekked to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, where she has lived part of the year with her sister Alice for decades, trying and failing to get an interview with the author. But in 2001, the Lee sisters opened their door to Chicago Tribune journalist Marja Mills.

  Thoreau or, Return to Walden is a world premiere play running at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge.

Longtime BTG Alum, David Adkins takes the stage as transcendentalist, poet, and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau. BTG Artist, Eric Hill, who most recently wrote and directed Adkins in the wildly well-received Poe, is directing this production.

The writing of Henry David Thoreau comes to life in this dramatic and uplifting tale as he battles with himself, with his own thirst for blood and for the soul of our American conscience.

We are joined by David Adkins.

  Alexander McCall Smith, best known for his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, is one of four writers part of The Austen Project which looks to rework Jane Austen's novels with a contemporary twist as part of a project to open up the stories for modern sensibilities.

The project was launched in 2013 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice.

The first published updating was Sense and Sensibility, written by Joanna Trollope. Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep and American Wife is already at work on Pride and Prejudice.

In Emma: A Modern Retelling, Alexander McCall Smith brings us Miss Emma Woodhouse -- and she wears blue jeans.

  Nearly twenty-five years ago, Nicholson Baker published U and I, the fretful and handwringing—but also groundbreaking—tale of his literary relationship with John Updike.

U and I inspired a whole sub-genre of engaging, entertaining writing about reading, but what no story of this type has ever done is tell its tale from the moment of conception, that moment when you realize that there is a writer out there in the world that you must read—so you read them.

B & Me is that story, the story of J.C. Hallman discovering and reading Nicholson Baker, and discovering himself in the process.

    Tim Federle was a dancer on Broadway until a few years ago. Now he’s an author who has has - so far - released 4 books. (His fifth - a picture book, is due out later this year.) Two of his books, Better Nate Than Ever! and Five, Six, Seven, Nate!, are about Nate Foster - a small-town boy with big Broadway dreams. The books are aimed at middle school theater-geeks trying to find their footing. Better Nate Than Ever! was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Publishers' Weekly Best Book of the Year, and a Slate Favorite Book of the Year.

  Federle's other two books are Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist and Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist. The former containing instruction for boozy-bevs with names like Love in the Time of Kahlúa, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margarita, and Vermouth the Bell Tolls; and the latter sharing shaker-ready recipes for Old MacDonald Had a Flask, Baa, Baa, Black Russian, Jack and Coke (and Jill).

On Thursday, February 5th, the Campaign for the New Hudson Area Library will be hosting Federle at Café Le Perche in Hudson, NY from 6 – 8pm. The restaurant will offer a selection of Federle’s drink recipes for sale to guests and The Spotty Dog Books and Ale, will be selling Federle’s books. 

    When America entered World War II in 1941, we faced an enemy that had banned and burned over 100 million books and caused fearful citizens to hide or destroy many more. Outraged librarians launched a campaign to send free books to American troops and gathered 20 million hardcover donations. In 1943, the War Department and the publishing industry stepped in with an extraordinary program: 120 million small, lightweight paperbacks, for troops to carry in their pockets and their rucksacks, in every theater of war.

Molly Guptill Manning joins us to talk about her book, When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II.

  We are very happy to continue our regular feature – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

Today we check in with MASS Humanities and learn about “Literature, Medicine and the Experience of War” - a six-month, scholar-led, humanities reading and discussion program for health professionals and staff in medical facilities administered by the US Department of Veterans Affairs and/or veterans and military service organizations.

Allan Amato/Coilhouse

  Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer are a fascinating, artistic, and talented couple who - lucky for us - live part-time in our region.

Amanda Palmer's new book The Art of Asking, is part manifesto, part revelation and a little bit "how-to" guide. Gaiman's most recent release is his adaption of Hansel and Gretel. They join us to discuss asking and audiobooks.

  If you are a lover of Jane Austen, close your eyes and imagine being brought to the towns, gardens, estates, and other sites from her iconic novels.

Saratoga Arts and a company called Edventures will be offering such an opportunity through a Jane Austen Tour that departs for England on April 25 and returns May 4, 2015.

The trip will be led by Dr. David Shapard, a Jane Austen scholar. David is the author of The Annotated Pride and Prejudice as well as annotated versions of Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma. He joins us along with Mary Huber, President of Edventures.

  

  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a revered classic and a rite of passage in the reading lives of millions. In her new book, So We Read On, Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan offers a fresh perspective on what makes Gatsby great – and utterly unusual.

  Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. It is also the choice for Poughkeepsie’s Big Read.

    In her followup to the best-selling Loving Frank, Nancy Horan recounts the improbably love affair between Scottish author, Robert Louis Stevenson and his American wife, Fanny Osbourne.

In The Wide and Starry Sky, Horan invites us to explore The Stevensons unusual relationship and the ways they changed the literary and artistic landscape around them.

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