Literature

Dorothy Managan, 93, served as an Army nurse in Tacoma, Wa. after World War II. She recently added her life story to her medical record at the Asheville, N.C. VA Medical Center.
Jay Price / American Homefront

 

For many health professionals, treating patients is a matter of assessing their ailments, making a diagnosis and prescribing treatment where it is required. Then it is on to the next patient. But a new program in VA medical centers aims to make connections between medical professionals and their patients through narratives.
 

Byrd book cover shows a tree and bird
dzancbooks.org

After a whirlwind reunion with a childhood friend, Addie Lockwood finds herself unexpectedly pregnant. Never aspiring to motherhood, she chooses adoption without telling the father. But even before the child is born, Addie feels compelled to write letters to him.

The story is the premise of Byrd (Dzanc Books/2014), a new book by Raleigh-based author Kim Church.

woman lying on the grass
mainstreetrag.com

Walt Disney's fairy tale adaptations are known for their neat, happy endings. But in their original states, these tales were rife with darkness and despair. 

Writer and poet Maureen Sherbondy embraces the gloom in her new book, "Beyond Fairy Tales: Poems in Concrete & Flesh" (Main Street Rag Publishing Company/2014). For example, Sherbondy's Rapunzel loses her hair to chemotherapy.

What the Prince Doesn't Know

By Maureen Sherbondy

Two months ago the mammogram revealed
a lump, and days since then have passed.

She can no longer throw her hair over the wall
for him to shimmy up beneath the star-scarred sky.

In a nauseous-chemo blur, clumps of golden thread
fell from her head to the tower's cold stone floor.

Still, the witch keeps her here, caged and ill, the left breast
completely gone. Her head a pale bald egg.

So when the Prince yells up to her, Rapunzel, throw down your golden hair, she hides beneath the sterile sheets.
 

Girl in the Road book cover
crownpublishing.com

Author Monica Byrne was reading a poem that included the words "ocean" and "bridge," when something just clicked. She couldn't get the idea out of her head: a pedestrian bridge so long it spanned the Arabian Sea. The vision formed the basis of her debut novel, "The Girl in the Road" (Crown Publishing/2014), which is set decades in the future.

The novel combines months of research and travel with numerous autobiographical details. It considers the different ways people recover from trauma.

Learn more about Monica and her work here.

book cover with a canoe on a river
lightmessages.com

  

"The 53rd Parallel" (Light Messages Publishing/2013) is the first novel in a series about the historic, yet little known, contamination of the English River. It was the largest mercury poisoning event in North American history, bringing devastation to the many Ojibway people native to the area. 

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer, and that means the tantalizing prospect of having more time for reading stretches ahead of us — long, lazy summer days curled up with a book.

The Skin Collector book cover
hachettebookgroup.com

    

Needle phobia is a popular fear, so it is a natural place for a horror writer to start. Author Jeffery Deaver added darkness and poison to the mix in his new book, "The Skin Collector"(Grand Central Publishing/2014). The novel's villain kills his victims in New York City's subterranean tunnels by tattooing them with poison. Detectives try to decipher a message in the tattoos. Jeffery Deaver will be reading at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill tonight at 7pm and at Quail Ridge Books tomorrow at 7:30pm. 

black book cover with neon lighting lettering and Eiffel Tower in background
harpercollins.com

  

It was a photograph of two women at a table, one in a dress and one in a suit, that inspired Francine Prose's latest novel. The suited woman is Violette Morris, a French athlete turned Nazi collaborator. Mixing history with fiction, "Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932" (HarperCollins, 2014), imagines Morris' life through multiple narrators.

The North Carolina Literary Arts Festival logo
lib.ncsu.edu/literaryfestival/

In the pre-digital era, storytellers were a specific category of individuals who regaled live audiences with their tales. Now, anyone with a smart phone or a YouTube account can be a storyteller who reaches audiences across the globe. What is the future of the art of storytelling?

The North Carolina Literary Festival asks that question of a panel of experts this Saturday at 12:30 pm in the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University. 

Veteran salutes other veterans
flickr.com

  

The complexities of war do not fit neatly into a poem or a novel. Writers grapple with how to address conflict responsibly, honestly and creatively. An April 12th panel at the North Carolina Writers' Network Spring Conference at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will examine the challenges of writing about war. 

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