Fiction

Time on a clock
Flickr/Sean MacEntee

Time is an essential part of day-to-day life. Clocks and calendars let people know when to sleep, eat, and where they’re supposed to be each morning.

But time is also something much more complicated; time is an abstract concept that sits at the center of conversations about physics, philosophy and culture.

Host Frank Stasio with brothers Noah and Gabriel Harrell, founders of the Rural Academy Theater, a theater troupe that travels the state by horse and buggy and brings theater to rural audiences.

Image of Allison Leotta, who wanted to show the ways the criminal justice system does and doesn't work in her books.
Allison Leotta

Allison Leotta was a federal sex-crimes prosecutor in Washington D.C. for more than a decade. Every day when she came home from work, she would think to herself, “I can’t believe what I saw today…someone should write about this.”

She began writing in the mornings before work and at night when she got home. In 2011, Leotta left the Justice Department to write full-time. She has now written four novels about a prosecutor named Anna Curtis, and people often refer to Leotta as “the female John Grisham.”

Image of author Katharine Ashe with a fan at a romance convention.
Katharine Ashe

North Carolina is home to a strong writing community. The state’s writing world has flourished in part because of an equally-strong literary ecosystem of publishers, independent bookstores, and readers. The inaugural Read Local Book Festival celebrates this literary ecosystem in downtown Durham this weekend with workshops, author dinners, and more.

Ursula Vernon's "Self-portrait."
Ursula Vernon

Ursula Vernon considers herself a “creator of oddities,” but she fell into this career by accident.

Her mother was a professional artist, so the artistic lifestyle held no mystery or appeal to her; she wanted to be a scientist. But after taking one art class in college she realized that art was her true calling.

Vernon has since authored a long-running text and graphic novel children’s book series called Dragonbreath and an award-winning adult comic called Digger.  

Host Frank Stasio talks to Ursula Vernon about her career, artistic style, and latest book “Castle Hangnail” (Dial Books for Young Readers/ 2015).

The John Hope Franklin Young Scholars worked together to write and published a novel about a Durham teenager.
David Stein

More than 30 Durham Public School students recently published a novel that combines fact, fiction and illustration.

“Running For Hope” (John Hope Young Franklin Scholars Program/ 2015) is a creative attempt to explore the life story and impact of historian John Hope Franklin while documenting the modern-day challenges of growing up as a teenager living in a diverse community. It interweaves the fictional story of 9th grader Kendrick Parker with illustrated scenes from Mirror to America, an autobiography by John Hope Franklin. 

N.C. author Liza Wieland
East Carolina University

For North Carolina author Liza Wieland, three separate narratives converged to her new book, Land of Enchantment.

The novel traces the experiences of three multiracial women in three different parts of the country. The characters share common themes around love, loss, racial identity and art. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with writer and English professor at East Carolina University Liza Wieland.

David Joy's new book tells the story of a young man working for his father's meth ring in rural North Carolina.
David-Joy.com

Jacob McNeely grew up in the mountains of North Carolina.

A life of crime as an employee of his father's meth ring is the only one he has ever known. But a violent event and a reunion with his first love offer McNeely the possibility of escape. 

In Every Way

Feb 5, 2015
Brown's latest novel
nicbrown.net

  

Five years after his last novel, North Carolina native Nic Brown is back with another riveting story. 

Creative Commons/ Wellcome Library, London

Writer Megan Mahew Bergman describes her newest collection of short stories as “10 years of my reading life.” Almost Famous Women (Scribner/2015) is historical fiction that explores the lives of powerful and unusual women who have remained in the margins of history. The stories range from an account of conjoined twins who were sold into show business in North Carolina, to the life and legacy of Africa’s first female horse trainer. Host Frank Stasio talks to Megan Mahew Bergman about women who took risks, broke rules, and disrupted cultural and gender norms in the early to mid 20th century.

The cover of Mette Ivie Harrison's The Bishop's Wife.
http://sohopress.com/

Linda Wallheim is a stay-at-home wife who is married to quite possibly the most influential man in her Mormon community of Draper, Utah. 

Expect to be good for nothing for a long time after you read Ron Rash. His writing is powerful, stripped down and very still: It takes you to a land apart, psychologically and geographically, since his fiction is set in Appalachia.

    

Writer Charlie Lovett has been attracted to the mystique of old books since he was a young kid. 

  

Whether or not women can have both professional success and a family is an ongoing national conversation, spurred by high-profile magazine essays, viral blogs and books like Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In.

    

In the fall of 1941, German troops killed more than 15,000 Jewish residents in a two-day massacre outside the city of Rovno in Ukraine.

    

When Beth McKenzie's grandmother passed away, she left behind a hefty nursing home bill and a dilapidated mansion, and it was up to Beth to figure out what to do. But luckily, she had a plan. 

    

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara is an ordained minister and published author who uses her faith work and fiction writing to create new strategies for supporting LGBT communities in the South. 

  

In his debut novel, Chapel-Hill based author Michael B. Jones explores a tumultuous relationship between a father and son who search for happiness and identity as their lives fall apart around them.

    

Author Jeff VanderMeer dreamed he was walking down a tunnel where words were appearing on the wall.

Nyuol Tong, Duke student and writer, from South Sudan
http://www.selfsudan.org/ / Self Sudan

  

When Nyuol Tong was six years old, his family was caught in the crossfire of the Sudanese Civil War. After living in Sudanese refugee camps, and Egypt, Tong made his way to the United States. 

When Nyuol reflects on his life in Sudan and Egypt, he talks about the constant shifting he had to do in order to survive. 

South Sudanese Writer and Duke Student, Nyuol Tong
selfsudan.org / Self Sudan

When Nyuol Tong was six years old, his family was caught in the crossfire of the Sudanese Civil War. After living in Sudanese refugee camps, and Egypt, Tong made his way to the United States. 

When Nyuol reflects on his life in Sudan and Egypt, he talks about the constant shifting he had to do in order to survive. 

williamsconescu.com

    

The author William Conescu struggled with double vision before having surgery to fix the disorder.

The idea of double vision lingered with him and his new novel Kara Was Here (Soft Skull Press/ 2013), features a character who sees double, both literally and metaphorically.  The character grapples with the conflict between the life he chose and the life he gave up.  Host Frank Stasio speaks to William Conescu about the novel.