novel

Writers On A New England Stage: Sue Monk Kidd

May 26, 2015
David J. Murray / ClearEyePhoto.com

On today’s show, it’s Writers on a New England Stage with Sue Monk Kidd, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. The author of The Secret Life of Bees explores the roots of American racism with The Invention of Wings, a novel about the unlikely alliance between a southern woman and a slave.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The year is 1842, and Christopher Robinson, a poor young man living with his family on an island just north of Scotland, has just been accused of stealing his father’s small savings. The real culprit is his brother, who has just fled their small town. As Christopher chases his brother, we encounter a world in which there is a vast difference between the haves and the have-nots, and a cast of characters seeking opportunities for better lives.

Miranda July: The First Bad Man

Feb 19, 2015

Miranda July. Maybe you know her from her quirky and charming 2005 film “Me And You And Everyone We Know,” which won the special jury prize at Sundance – but since then she’s made a second film, a book of short stories, a messaging app, and has performed all over the world, and now she’s written a novel.

July’s debut novel The First Bad Man continues her skill at revealing uncomfortable moments and unexpected truths … in a very funny way.

Writers On A New England Stage: Anne Rice

Dec 15, 2014
© David J. Murray / ClearEyePhoto.com

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with author Anne Rice who reinvented a genre when she published Interview with a Vampire nearly 40 years ago. Subsequent novels presented undead characters who experienced love, grief, and longing.

via indiebound.org

L.L. Bean, The North Face, Nordstrom and Land’s End all sell apparel, but they have another thing in common: they guarantee their merchandise for life. But is that really a shrewd business move? Today on Word of Mouth, the pros and cons of the lifetime guarantee.  Plus, Producer Zach Nugent interviews a few people who have tested that policy, and talks to one company’s PR rep about the fine print of their policy.

Also today, child-soldier-turned novelist Ishmael Beah talks about rebuilding lives, communities, and trust after a brutal war.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.


The Burgess Boys

Apr 8, 2013
via indiebound.com

Shirley Falls, Maine is one of those New England towns with a strong memory of the way things used to be…before the mills closed, before the mall went up across the river…before so many residents moved away. It’s the fictional town left behind by a pair of brothers in The Burgess Boys, a new novel by Elizabeth Strout, who won the Pulitzer prize for fiction for Olive Kitteridge. The story centers on Jim and Bob Burgess, brothers whose lives are imprinted by a childhood tragedy in very different ways. Both pull up their stakes and secret miseries and move to New York City….and both are pulled back to their hometown by another family crisis. Elizabeth talks to Virginia about the book and it's connection to Maine.

via indiebound.org

Alex Kudera published Fight for Your Long Day, in 2010, but it’s still gaining traction because of its unflinching look at the swelling academic underclass that is adjunct faculty, recently getting notice from the chronicle of higher education. We spoke with him about the book and the perception of adjuncts in higher education today.

Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

All of the pleasure, none of the guilt. Our Saturday show gets you caught up, in a convenient snack pack size. This week….A video game attempts to replicate the experience of autism; spying in space with the help of spectroscopy; a look back to when Peyton Place was in its heyday, almost 60 years ago; the delicious and sweet tradition of capturing maple syrup; making music by “playing” a tower; and a musician gives a private concert in Studio D, then talks about teenage inspiration and her love of pie.

via Wikipedia

Nearly sixty years after “Peyton Place” was published, tourists still stop in Gilmanton, New Hampshire, to ask locals about its author, Grace Metalious. The novel shocked America with tales of small town secrets, sex, and hypocrisy, and outraged the citizens of Gilmanton, where the unconventional Matalious lived with her family. It became one of the best-selling books ever, a hit movie, and TV's first prime-time soap. Writer George Kelly, came across some persistent Matalious myths while writing about the novel for New Hampshire Magazine. His article, “50 Shades of Grace: The Impact of ‘Peyton Place’ on New Hampshire Sixty Years Later”, can be found in the current issue of the magazine, as well as online.

Between 1978 and 1988, the murders of seven women in New Hampshire and Vermont were attributed to the “Connecticut River Valley Killer”. Investigations of several suspects, and one deathbed confession went cold, and the killer was never found. Novelist Joseph Olshan’s “Cloudland,” is a fictionalized crime thriller based on the case. We spoke to Joe Olshan last spring when the book was released, now, it’s out in paperback. He lived in the upper valley when the sixth and final victim was found, and he explained what, as an outsider, he saw happen to local residents.

In 1994, fifteen year-old classmates Josh and Khadijah catch his father and her mother having an affair. That discovery and the ensuing fallout leads to the pair forming an unlikely bond and making a vow that they’ll never, ever, cheat on anyone. This poignant and at times absurd coming-of-age story is just the starting point of “Good Kids,” a novel that’s getting a lot of buzz for its author, Benjamin Nugent, and has critics comparing his first foray into fiction with the likes of Jennifer Egan and Jonathan Franzen.  

WarmSleepy / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Roger King is the author of four novels, and has worked extensively on development projects in Africa and Asia. He’s suffered from chronic fatigue since 1991 and joins us to talk about his new autobiographical novel Love and Fatigue in America.