love

Sharon Wheatley, Rodney Hicks, Geno Carr and Come From Away cast
Matthew Murphy

On September 11, 2001, the air-space over the United States was closed after two planes flew into the the Twin Towers in New York City, another into The Pentagon, and a fourth (headed for D. C.) into a field near near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Thirty-eight planes were diverted from their original paths and forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. The airport at Gander is larger than makes sense in terms of the size and population of Gander. It’s a relic from the pre-jetplane era -- when flying to or from Europe commercial and private flights stopped there to refuel.

The 38 planes that landed on 9/11 carried passengers from all over the world. Scared, confused, and all-but cut off from their loved-ones, the accidental visitors - or “come-from-aways” as the Newfoundlanders call them - nearly doubled the population of the region for the better part of a week. The locals opened their doors, pantries, hearts, and minds until the airspace was reopened.

Those friendships - formed in upsetting and stressful circumstances - are the heart at the center of Come From Away - a new musical now running on Broadway The Schoenfeld Theatre.

The book, music, and lyrics are by married Canadian writing team Irene Sankoff and David Hein - who created the show by interviewing the real people involved in the events of that day and week. The show is directed by Christopher Ashley with musical staging by Kelly Devine. The cast of 12 plays both - and various - Gander-ites and Plane people.

Cast member Sharon Wheatley joins us now. Her previous Broadway credits include Avenue Q, Les Misérables, Cats, and The Phantom of the Opera. She is the author of the memoir, Til The Fat Girl Sings: From an Overweight Nobody to a Broadway Somebody.

In her memoir, Whip Smart, Melissa Febos laid bare the intimate world of the professional dominatrix, turning an honest examination of her life into a study of power, desire, and fulfillment.

Abandon Me explores the bonds of love and the need for connection -- with family, lovers, and oneself. First, her birth father, who left her with only an inheritance of addiction and Native American blood, its meaning a mystery. Meanwhile, she remains closely tied to the sea captain who raised her, his parenting ardent but intermittent as his work took him away for months at a time.

Woven throughout is the hypnotic story of an all-consuming, long-distance love affair with a woman, marked equally by worship and withdrawal. Abandon Me draws on childhood stories, religion, psychology, mythology, popular culture, and the intimacies of one writer's life to reveal intellectual and emotional truths that feel startlingly universal. Melissa Febos has two events in our region and joins us this morning.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of discussions about women who influenced classical composers - speaking about the two women who inspired Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz.

Since antiquity, one story has stood at the center of every conversation about men and women. One couple has been the battleground for human relationships and sexual identity. That couple is Adam and Eve. Yet instead of celebrating them, history has blamed them for bringing sin, deceit, and death into the world.

Author Bruce Feiler is known for books that explore the import in our own lives of our culture’s foundational stories. His bestsellers Walking the Bible and Abraham explored our shared ancestors and engaged people of all backgrounds in open conversation during a time of discord and fear. Feiler is also the host of the PBS series Walking the Bible and Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler.

In his new book, The First Love Story: Adam, Eve and Us - Feiler looks to redeem history’s first couple and explains the many ways we’ve scapegoated Eve, and elevates these founding figures to their rightful place, he believes, as role models for unity and forgiveness. 

Brad Gooch is a poet, novelist, and biographer, whose most recent book is Rumi's Secret: The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love. He is the author of ten previous works, including: the memoir Smash Cut; the acclaimed biography of Frank O'Hara, City Poet; and Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor, which was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and New York Times best seller. The recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships, he earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University and is Professor of English at William Paterson University in New Jersey.

In Rumi's Secret, Gooch brings to life the man and puts a face to the name Rumi, vividly coloring in his time and place—a world as rife with conflict as our own.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of discussions about women who influenced classical composers. Today we hear their final conversation about Beethoven.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of discussions about women who influenced classical composers. This week’s composer is Ludwig van Beethoven.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of discussions about women who influenced classical composers. This week’s composer is Ludwig van Beethoven.

In What Love Is, philosopher Carrie Jenkins offers a bold new theory on the nature of romantic love that reconciles its humanistic and scientific components. Love can be a social construct (the idea of a perfect fairy tale romance) and a physical manifestation (those anxiety- inducing heart palpitations); we must recognize its complexities and decide for ourselves how to love.

Motivated by her own polyamorous relationships, she examines the ways in which our parameters of love have recently changed-to be more accepting of homosexual, interracial, and non-monogamous relationships-and how they will continue to evolve in the future. 

Caroline Leavitt’s new novel, Cruel Beautiful World is about coming of age in 1969; about wild love, rebellion, and finding oneself in the time of Woodstock and the Manson murders.

The novel is a haunting, nuanced portrait of love, sisters, and the impossible legacy of family.   

  Award winning stage and screen actress Mary-Louise Parker’s new book - Dear Mr. You – shows the singular arc of her life through letters composed to the men, real and hypothetical, who have informed the person she is today.

Beginning with the grandfather she never knew, the letters range from a missive to the beloved priest from her childhood to remembrances of former lovers.

  Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and National Humanities Medalist Krista Tippett has interviewed the most extraordinary voices examining the great questions of meaning for our time. The heart of her work on her national public radio program and podcast, On Being, has been to shine a light on people whose insights kindle in us a sense of wonder and courage. 
 
In Becoming Wise, Tippett distills the insights she has gleaned from this luminous conversation in its many dimensions into a coherent narrative journey, over time and from mind to mind.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani begins a series of conversations about female composers.

  After completing her MFA program in non-fiction, Hannah Tennant-Moore set off on a two-month sojourn to Sri Lanka to examine her longtime interest in Buddhism before beginning the next chapter of her professional career.

Immersed in the culture of the country and surrounded by the fascinating people that she got to know, she began to connect the threads that would form her new novel, Wreck and Order.  The result is a novel of ideas that looks at spirituality, sex, life, friendship, and the eternal quest for fulfillment in life and love that drives us all. 

  Augusten Burroughs is the author of such best-selling autobiographical works as Running with Scissors, Dry, and Magical Thinking.

His latest is called Lust & Wonder in which he chronicles the development and demise of the different relationships he's had while living in New York, he examines what it means to be in love, what it means to be in lust, and what it means to be figuring it out.

  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.

  Augusten Burroughs is the author of the autobiographical works Running with Scissors, Dry, Magical Thinking, Possible Side Effects and A Wolf at the Table, all of which were New York Times bestsellers. Running with Scissors remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two consecutive years and was made into a Golden Globe-nominated film starring Annette Bening.

His only novel, Sellevision, is currently in development as a series for NBC. Dry, Augusten's memoir of his alcoholism and recovery, is being developed by Showtime. In addition, Burroughs is currently creating an original prime-time series for CBS. Augusten's latest book is called Lust & Wonder.

In it, he chronicles the development and demise of the different relationships he's had while living in New York, he examines what it means to be in love, what it means to be in lust, and what it means to be figuring it all out. He will be speaking about and signing the book in our region next Wednesday – April 13th at 7 p.m. at the Northshire Book Store in Saratoga Springs, NY.

In The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer, newly single mom Beth has one constant, gnawing worry: that her dreamy eight-year-old daughter, Carmel, who has a tendency to wander off, will one day go missing. And then one day, it happens: On a Saturday morning thick with fog, Beth takes Carmel to a local outdoor festival, they get separated in the crowd, and Carmel is gone.

  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. 

  Stephen King calls Abigail Thomas "the Emily Dickinson of memoirists."

Her latest book, What Comes Next and How to Like It, is an extraordinarily moving memoir about many things, but at the center is a steadfast friendship between Abigail Thomas and a man she met thirty-five years ago.

'Love Letters To The Dead' By Ava Dellaira

Sep 30, 2015

Ava Dellaira's debut novel, Love Letters to the Dead tugs at our heart strings at all the right moments, as we read Laurel’s thoughts about her sister’s sudden death, and experience her struggle to find out who she is without her sister’s very big, and loving presence. It’s novel of loss, but it’s also a novel of secrets, the kind that need to be shared, so Laurel can move on.


  Robert Goolrick’s most recent novel, The Fall of Princes, is set in 1980’s New York City, a time when Wall Street ruled, drugs were in constant supply, and jockeying for power was the name of the game. We meet Rooney, who tells the story of how he and a group of other young Princes made it to the top and then, one by one, took a fall.

  Most people think of love and contracts as strange bedfellows, or even opposites. In Love’s Promises, however, law professor Martha Ertman shows that far from cold and calculating, contracts shape and sustain families.

Blending memoir and law, Ertman delves into the legal cases, anecdotes, and history of family law to show that love comes in different packages, each shaped by different contracts and mini-contracts she calls “deals.”

roundabouttheatre.org

  In Joshua Harmon’s new play, Significant Other, Jordan Berman would love to be in love, but until he meets Mr. Right, he wards off lonely nights with his trio of close-knit girlfriends. But as singles’ nights turn into bachelorette parties, Jordan finds that supporting the ones you love can be just as impossible as finding love itself. The play takes an often funny and alternately heartbreaking look at what it’s like to be single when all of your close friends are marrying themselves off (and even worse than that - sometimes having destination weddings that you attend, even though it destroys your budget).

The Roundabout Theatre Company production of Significant Other, directed by Trip Cullman, has been in previews for a few weeks and officially opens at The Laura Pels Theatre in New York City this coming Thursday night.

Roundabout Theatre Company’s relationship with Joshua Harmon began when his play Bad Jews was selected for the inaugural Roundabout Underground Reading Series for Emerging Playwrights in February 2012. The play then premiered at Roundabout Underground’s Black Box in Fall 2012, in a sold-out extended run and then moved upstairs to the 420-seat Laura Pels Theatre - where Significant Other is performed now.

We spoke with Joshua Harmon and Trip Cullman recently about Roundabout, the play, and working together.

  When Maya Angelou and Tavis Smiley met in 1986, he was twenty-one and she was fifty-eight. For the next twenty-eight years, they shared an unlikely, special bond. Angelou was a teacher and a maternal figure to Smiley, and they talked often, of art, politics, history, race, religion, music, love, purpose, and--more than anything--courage. Courage to be open, to follow dreams, to believe in oneself.

In My Journey with Maya, Smiley recalls a joyful friendship filled to the brim with sparkling conversation--in Angelou's gardens surrounded by her caged birds, before lectures, sharing meals, and on breaks from it all, they sought each other out for comfort, advice, and above all else, friendship.

  Professor Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright and teacher. She was recently named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, as well as the inaugural Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University. In 2009, she composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

In her memoir, The Light of the World, she finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. She tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. She reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband’s death, and the solace found in caring for her two sons.

  

  Courtney Maum splits her time between the Berkshires, New York City, and Paris, working as a creative brand strategist, corporate namer, and humor columnist. Her debut novel, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You is out in paperback this week.

She will be at Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA on 4/8 and will participate in Literary Death Match at The Mount in Lenox, MA on 4/24.

On her book tour, Courtney will conduct interviews what people have learned about long-term love. People can participate using the hashtag #lovenotes - Courtney will share content on her Tumblr and her Facebook author page.

  Can You Hear Me Baby? Stories of Sex, Love, and OMG Birth! is being presented as a staged reading with music on March 27th and 28th at Berkshire Theatre Group's Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, MA as a benefit for the National Perinatal Association, Berkshire Festival of Women Writers and WAM Theatre.

Written by Lisa Rafel, with music by Lisa Rafel and Gary Malkin, Can You Hear Me Baby? brings together birth stories and original music to dramatize the joy, challenges, personal courage and profundity of birth.

Here to tell us more are playwright Lisa Rafel and the production’s director/producer Jayne Atkinson.

  The summer Lisa A. Phillips turned thirty, she fell in love with someone who didn’t return her feelings. She soon became obsessed. She followed him around, called him compulsively, and talked about him endlessly. One desperate morning, after she snuck into his apartment building, he picked up a baseball bat to protect himself and began to dial 911. Her unrequited love had changed her from a sane, conscientious college teacher and radio reporter into someone she barely recognized—someone who was taking her yearning much too far.

Blending memoir, literary exposition, and revealing case studies, Lisa A. Phillips book, Unrequited, is an exploration of one-sided romantic obsession.

30 Lessons For Loving

Jan 20, 2015

  Based on the most detailed survey of long-married people ever conducted, 30 Lessons For Loving shows a way to lifelong, fulfilling relationships. Karl Pillemer, a gerontologist at Cornell University, offers advice from the oldest and wisest Americans on everything from finding a partner, to deciding to commit, to growing old together.

Along the way, the book answers questions like these: How do you know if the person you love is the right one? What are the secrets for improving communication and reducing conflict? What gets you through the major stresses of marriage, such as child-rearing, work, money issues, and in-laws?

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