Literature

The State Of Things
11:19 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Letters To The Unborn

Byrd book cover
Credit 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.

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The State of Things
12:18 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Not So Happy Ever After

Beyond Fairy Tales book cover
Credit 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.
 

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The State of Things
12:00 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

A Bridge To The Future

Girl in the Road book cover
Credit 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.

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The State of Things
2:09 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Dreams Of Disaster and Redemption

Book cover for The 53rd Parallel
Credit 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. 

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Book News & Features
9:46 am
Sun May 25, 2014

Kate DiCamillo's Picks For Summer Treehouse Reading

Scholastic Press

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 11:12 am

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.

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The State of Things
11:58 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Thriller Novel Plays On Fear of Needles

The Skin Collector book cover
Credit 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. 

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The State of Things
11:04 am
Wed May 7, 2014

A Snapshot Of A Nazi

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 book cover
Credit 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.

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The State of Things
12:11 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

The Future of Storytelling

The North Carolina Literary Arts Festival logo
Credit 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. 

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The State of Things
9:56 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Writing About War

Veteran salutes other veterans
Credit 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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The State of Things
12:39 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Jordan High Grows Up During Civil Rights Movement

Not The End, But The Beginning Book Cover
Credit NCCU

Brian McDonald taught at Jordan High School for 13 years before he became interested in the history of the school. And when he looked, he found a school that grew up along with the Civil Rights Movement. His new book; “Not the End, but the Beginning: The Impact of Race and Class on the History of Jordan High School” (NCCU/2011), explores the history of the high school. 

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