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This feels like “fun with books & writing” week. First, we can read Betsy Kepes’ fine updates on the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference happening in Seattle. But right now the Canadian...
Quick, when were heated seats invented? If you have that feature in your car, can you imagine living without it? Bonus Q: Are heated seats in the depths of winter cold about as good as sex? Credit writer Louise Penny for that quip. After a coming to...
Earlier this month Dale Hobson wrote about the National Toy Hall of Fame, including this year’s nominees. Judging from the response, many classic toys and games have staying power, in our minds if not in terms of sales at Christmas this year....
How well do inherited policies work in changing times? To be specific, I am mulling over things like trapping and mineral rights. Bear with me and I’ll explain. When I was a child my father mentioned the term “mineral rights.” I...
Alice Munro’s distinguished literary career has just been recognized with this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature. Readers who like the short story format are almost certainly familiar with that name, as Munro has long been considered one...


Books and Authors
Apr 17, 2014 — Also: Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez's health is said to be stable but "very fragile"; Dave Eggers' new book is called Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?
Apr 17, 2014 — Mimi Pond's graphic memoir is a rose (or in this case aqua) tinted recollection of her time waitressing at a bohemian diner in Oakland in the 1970s. Reviewer Etelka Lehoczky says it's a sweet tribute.
Apr 16, 2014 — Ellah Allfrey reviews Kinder Than Solitude, by Yiyun Li.

Special Features

Country Schoolhouse
Audio Play:
No Bigger Than a Piano Box: a North Country Schoolhouse in 1893
By historian Betsy Kepes. Based on the 1893 diary of a North Country schoolteacher. A Women's History Month special. Teacher's guide and CD available.
Irving Bachellor
Audio Novella:
A Franklin Manor Christmas
Paul Willcott of Saranac Lake reads his original Adirondack holiday story set in a down-at-heels former cure cottage and monastery occupied by a lonesome ex-professor.

BooksOther NCPR Literature Features:

Readers & Writers: Conversations on contemporary literature

Books & Literature Home page

Books Reviews

Author interviews

Recent Books: Recent regional books received at NCPR


Book Review: "Out of the Blue, Blueline Essays 1979-1989"

Is there such a thing as a literature of the Adirondacks? Alice Wolf Gilborn explored this idea in her essays in Blueline, a literary periodical she founded and edited in the 1980s. Our book reviewer, Betsy Kepes, read her new collection: Out of the Blue, Blueline Essays 1979-1989.  Go to full article
Tessa Mellas will read from and talk about her awarding winning collection of short stories, <i>Lungs Full of Noise</i>, on Thursday night (7 pm) at Dean-Eaton Formal Lounge at SLU.  Her book is published by University of Iowa Press.  Photo: Tessa Mellas

Ogdensburg native Tessa Mellas wins Iowa Short Fiction Award

Ogdensburg native and St. Lawrence University graduate Tessa Mellas returns to campus this week to read some of her award-winning stories. Tessa Mellas recently won the Iowa Short Fiction Award for her collection of a dozen short stories in Lungs Full of Noise.

Mellas was a 2001 English and Music major at St. Lawrence, and grew up skating at ice rinks around the North Country. Appleton Arena is one of her favorite rinks. She spoke with Todd Moe about her writing style -- realistic fiction with fantastic elements -- and what it's like to be a professional writer. She also reads from the story, "Mariposa Girls", in Lungs Full of Noise.  Go to full article
Richard Rodriguez at the Pacific News Service 40th Anniversary Celebration in 2010. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/pnsnam/5182211403/">New American Media</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Richard Rodriguez discusses "Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography"

Essayist Richard Rodriguez is most widely known as a commentator on the PBS NewsHour. He is the author Hunger of Memory, Brown, Days of Obligation, and the brand new Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography.

In Darling, he explores the three religions that sprung from Abraham in a desert culture that is austere, dangerous, and prone to spiritual visions. Rodriguez writes this memoir in part as as a response to Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and others who formed the "New Atheism." He talks about the book with Chris Robinson of the Readers & Writers Book Club.  Go to full article
R. M. Doyon.    Photo:  courtesy the author.

Books: "Thou Torturest Me"

Canadian author R. M. Doyon's new novel, Thou Torturest Me, is a sequel to his debut novel, Upcountry. Set in upstate New York, Upcountry fans will...  Go to full article

Book review: "Above All Things," Tanis Rideout

Canadian writer, Tanis Rideout, grew up in Kingston, but her first novel, Above All Things, takes her far away from Lake Ontario.

Rideout writes about...  Go to full article

Books: "The End of Your Life Book Club" by Will Schwalbe

Our book reviewer, Betsy Kepes, traveled to Kingston, Ontario to take in a day of events at the Kingston Writersfest. While she was there she talked with Will Schwalbe,...  Go to full article

Documenting the white slave trade in America's past

A Canton writer researching his own family history stumbled on the names of thousands of children kidnapped from Ireland, Scotland and England and sold into slavery in late...  Go to full article

Readers, writers gather in Kingston, Ontario

NCPR is media sponsor for the Fifth Annual Kingston Writers Fest. The event kicks off Wednesday evening with featured speaker Margaret Atwood. Dozens of nationally and...  Go to full article

"Three Squares" traces the rise and fall of the American meal

Vermont food historian and scholar Abigail Carroll's new book, Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal, is the story behind our modern eating habits. And...  Go to full article
Author Pico Iyer speaking at TEDGlobal 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tedconference/9018794227/">TED Conference</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Tonight in Canton: author Pico Iyer

Writer and world traveler Pico Iyer, author of The Man Within My Head, is the first featured guest in this year's St. Lawrence Uiversity Writers Series. He will...  Go to full article

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