Literature

Jo Maeder
Jo Maeder

When writer Jo Maeder inherited her mother's collection of 700 dolls, she thought she'd quickly be rid of them. Instead, she became attached, and found herself drawn into the world of doll collectors. Jo Maeder has written about this experience in the New York Times.  Her latest book is Opposites Attack. Host Frank Stasio talks with her...and meets some of the dolls.  

For more information on Jo's doll obsession, you can visit the official site or the Facebook page for Mama Jo's House of Dolls. 

Daniel Wallace's new book, The Kings and Queens of Roam.
Amazon.com

Daniel Wallace is best known for his debut novel “Big Fish,” which became a Hollywood movie.  which became a Hollywood movie and is soon debuting as a musical. But he's written four more novels since then. His latest is called "The Kings and Queens of Roam," and it follows two sisters as they grow up in an imaginary former textile town.

Truth's Ragged Edge The Rise of the American Novel
Philip Gura / http://us.macmillan.com

When we think of the classics of 19th Century literature, names like Melville and Hawthorne come to mind. But what about their contemporaries? What makes ones writer a master and another forgotten? Phillip Gura, professor of American literature and culture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, tackles that subject in his newest book, “Truth’s Ragged Edge: The Rise of the American Novel” (FSG/2013).


http://elizabethspencerdocumentary.org / Landscapes of The Heart

Elizabeth Spencer’s most famous book is called “The Light in the Piazza.”  It’s the story of an American girl who falls in love with a man in Italy.  And it’s been adapted to a movie and a stage musical.  But Elizabeth has created a large body of work, though none is quite so famous. There’s a new documentary based on Elizabeth Spencer’s life called “Landscapes of the Heart: The Elizabeth Spencer Story.”

lystrabooks.blogspot.com

  On Christmas Eve of 1963, a young woman named Lucille Rinaldi was murdered in her apartment in downtown Chapel Hill.  Later the same day, her husband Frank Rinaldi was arrested and charged with murder.

Over the next two years, the trial consumed the attention of the town.  Nora Gaskin was 12 years old when Lucille Rinaldi was killed. The case left an indelible impression on her. She is the author of "Until Proven: A Mystery in Two Parts" (Lystra/ 2013). She joins host Frank Stasio to discuss the novel she has written based on the murder.

Elaine Neil Orr
nigerianfaithful.org

Elaine Neil Orr was born and raised in Nigeria, the daughter of Baptist Missionaries. When she began writing her memoir about 10 years ago, her mother gave her a keepsake – the 1853 diary of the first Baptist Missionary in Nigeria. This artifact spoke to Orr, and it was the inspiration for her first novel, “A Different Sun: A Novel of Africa” (Berkley Trade/2013).

Chris Benfey
mtholyoke.edu

Several years ago, Chris Benfey decided to write a traditional memoir. He soon realized, however, that his family was anything but traditional. His new book, “Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay” (Penguin/2012), is part memoir, part history, part archeology.

It tells the stories of his ancestors’ work as bricklayers, his father’s escape from Nazi Germany and his great aunt and uncle’s pivotal role in the founding of Black Mountain College. Chris Benfey is a Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College. He joins Host Frank Stasio to discuss his family’s North Carolina stories.

Jim Minz
ktempest, via Flickr.com, Creative Commons

Jim Minz’s childhood in small-town West Bend, Wisconsin prepared him for two things: game shows and science fiction.

West Bend was home to the West Bend Company – the maker of small appliances which were regularly featured as consolation prize on game shows.

Jill McCorkle
Tom Rankin

Jill McCorkle's first novel in 17 years, “Life After Life” (Algonquin/ 2013), is set in a retirement community. There, the dying grapple with life and death in humorous, dark turns. One character moved to the area to be close to the grave of her former lover. Another fakes dementia to avoid having to deal with his adult son. Jill McCorkle joins host Frank Stasio to talk about her newest work.

http://www.craignova.com

Author Craig Nova's life as a reader has left him wanting to fill in the gaps in contemporary fiction. Nova notes that he's witnessed a decline in loving male characters. In his latest novel, "The Constant Heart" (Counterpoint/2012), he attempts to fill in this gap. “The Constant Heart” was recently celebrated as part of the New Yorker's "Best Books of 2012" list. Craig Nova is an author and a professor in the humanities at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He joins Host Frank Stasio live at the Triad Stage to discuss the themes behind "The Constant Heart."

Pages