Hear Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Joseph Finder & Elizabeth Alexander in the Literary New England Radio Show archives

3 booksMiss this past Monday, June 22, Literary New England Radio Show? No worries! You can hear our three enthralling guests in the Literary New England Radio Show archives. The episode features:

  • Dolen Perkins-Valdez on Balm. Set shortly after the end of the Civil War, it’s the story of three people who have come to Chicago in search of a new life: Madge, who was born with magical hands that heal; Sadie, who can talk with the dead; and Hemp, who is searching for both redemption and his missing family.
  • Joseph Finder on The Fixer. The latest stand-alone thriller by this New York Times bestselling author that focuses on a former investigative reporter forced to move back to his childhood home, where he makes an exciting and dangerous discovery about his father’s past.
  • Elizabeth Alexander on The Light of the World. A gorgeous memoir by an acclaimed poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist about the beauty of married life, the trauma of her husband’s death, and the solace found in caring for her two teenage sons.

Was a great episode! Definitely check it out!

The books you can win & authors you’ll hear on the 6/8 & 6/15 Literary New England Radio Show

June8_3booksTonight, June 8, we feature three women authors as interesting as their books. Join host Cindy Wolfe Boynton at 8 pm for novel talk and book giveaways as she speaks with:

  • Laura Kasischke on Mind of Winter. The latest novel by this bestselling poet and recently released in paperback, it’s the story of a mother who wakes up on a snowy Christmas sure that 15 years ago, something dark followed their adopted daughter home from Russia and is now afflicting them all.
  • Miranda Beverly-Whittemore on Bittersweet. Now a paperback, this suspenseful and cinematic novel tells the story of Mabel Dagmar, a young woman whose East Coast college roommate gives her friendship, a boyfriend, access to wealth and, for the first time in her life, the sense that she belongs–until everything goes all wrong.
  • Maura Weiler on Contrition. An inspiring, debut novel about very different twin sisters separated by birth and then reconnected through art, faith and the father who touched the world with his paintings.

All three of these books are paperbacks, so you can throw them right into your favorite summer bag!

3_books_June15Also mark your calendars for the 8 pm Monday, June 15, Literary New England Radio Show and an hour of lively conversations with three diverse authors about three unforgettable books:

  • Sy Montgomery on The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness. This touching, entertaining and profound memoir explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus, and the remarkable connections it’s able to make with humans.
  • Jean Zimmerman on Savage Girl. Recently released in paperback, it’s the story of a wealthy and outlandish Manhattan couple who adopt a girl purportedly raised by wolves with the goal of civilizing and introducing her into the high society of the Gilded Age.
  • Charles Dubow on Girl in the Moonlight. A scorching tale on countless summer recommended reading lists about one man’s all-consuming desire for a beautiful, bewitching and beguiling woman.

On both the June 8 and June 15 shows, listen and Tweet or email us to win one of these titles! Our Twitter handle is @LitNewEngland and our email litnewengland@gmail.com.

Jakob Crane: Author of a graphic novel about Salem’s witch trials

Lies In the Dust“Provocative and haunting” is how Kirkus Review describes Lies in the Dust: A Tale Of Remorse From The Salem Witch Trials. The graphic novel was written by New England author and visual artist Jakob Crane, illustrated by Timothy Decker of New Jersey and published by the Maine-based Islandport Press, which describes itself as being “dedicated to stories rooted in the essence and sensibilities of New England.”

Lies in the Dust certainly fits that description. The 120-page book tells a fictionalized version of the story of Ann Putnam Jr., the only girl to eventually apologize for sending 24 people to their deaths during the infamous Salem witch trials.

LiesinDUST3PICSWe air part of our interview with Jakob on tonight’s Literary New England Radio Show. Hear the complete 15-minute interview by clicking here. As Jakob mentions during our conversation, he and Decker recently established their own indie press, Box Books, which you may want to check out.

Jakob isn’t the first Islandport Press author we’ve featured on the show. Hear GA Morgan talk about The Fog of Forgetting, and Lea Wait talk about Uncertain Glory, in the Literary New England Radio Show archives. All were super interviews and guests!

Interviews & book giveaways with Sabaa Tahir, Kate Bolick, Santa Montefiore & more >> tonight at 8 on the Literary New England Radio Show

May11_4_picsAll of the books and authors featured on this episode of the Literary New England Radio Show are creating huge buzz–some in more ways than one! Join us tonight (May 11) at 8 p.m. for interviews and book giveaways with:

  • Santa Montefiore on The Beekeeper’s Daughter. The first book this No. 1 internationally best-selling author has set in the U.S., which tells the story of a mother and daughter searching for love and happiness, unaware of the secrets that bind them. It splits between 1930s England and 1970s Massachusetts.
  • Sabaa Tahir on An Ember in the Ashes. The instant New York Times-bestselling YA novel about a slave, a soldier, their intertwined destinies and their desire to be free. A fantasy set in an imagined world, it’s also a hauntingly realistic reminder of what it means to be a human.
  • Kate Bolick on Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own. A memoir that weaves the stories of five pioneering women writers into journalist Kate Bolock’s own as she explores the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single, as well as why more than 100 million American women have chosen to live life this way.

We also talk with New England writer and visual artist Jakob Crane about his graphic novel Lies in the Dust: A Tale Of Remorse From The Salem Witch Trials.

Hosted by Cindy Wolfe Boynton, and we can’t wait for you to hear it!

Author interviews and book giveaways w/Aline Ohanesian, Patricia Park & Kirstin Valdez Quade!

May4_3booksYou have until Friday, May 8, to enter to win the books featured on this episode of the Literary New England Radio Show >> Listen to our podcast now!

  • Aline Ohanesian on Orhan’s Inheritance, a novel that shifts between the last years of the Ottoman Empire and 1990s Los Angeles. It tells the story a young Turkish man who leaves his family’s small village, to travel to the US, to discover why his recently deceased grandfather bequeathed the family home to a woman his family has never heard of–a woman who lives in a facility for elderly Aremians. It’s a novel that brings a neglected time in Turkish history to life, spanning decades, honoring the resilience of the human spirit and illustrating the depth of love.
  • Patricia Park on Re: Jane, a Korean-American retelling of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, set in Manhattan and Seoul. Its protagonist, Jane, is a an orphan trying to escape from Flushing, NY, where she works in her strict uncle’s grocery store before becoming the au pair, beginning an affair with the father of the children she cares for and then fleeing to Seoul. There, she reconnects with family and works to accept who she really is.
  • Kirstin Valdez Quade on her short story collection Night at the Fiestas. Set in northern New Mexico, the 10 stories plunge into the fierce, troubled hearts of characters defined by the desire to escape the past or else plumb into its depths: A deadbeat father of a pregnant teen who tries to transform his life by playing the role of Jesus; a young man who discovers that his estranged father and a boa constrictor have been squatting in his grandmother’s empty house; a lonely retiree who becomes obsessed with her housekeeper; and others.

Hosted by Cindy Wolfe Boynton.

Manhattan Project anniversary = Wives of Los Alamos giveaway

Wives of Los AlamosSeventy years ago this week on April 27, 1945, members of the World War II-era Manhattan Project‘s Target Committee met for the first time to begin selecting sites in Japan to drop the atomic bomb. Tokyo Bay, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima, Kokura, Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Sasebo were among the possibilities.

The novel The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit–first released in hardcover last year–tells the story of the Manhattan Project from the perspective of the scientists’ wives, who did not know what their husbands were building.

Los Alamos, New Mexico, was the location of the principal research and design laboratory for the atomic bomb’s creation. Yet in the same place this life-destroying force was being created, so were life-enriching ones: babies were born, friendships forged, children grew up, and Los Alamos itself transformed from a boys school on a hill into a community–though not a typical one. Its residents, particularly its wives, were strained by the words they couldn’t say out loud, the letters they couldn’t send home, and the freedoms they didn’t have.

Focused on the remarkable group of women who carved out a life there, The Wives of Los Alamos wonderfully brings this time, project and community to life … And Literary New England has two copies of the paperback to give way to you!

To win one, like Literary New England’s Facebook page and comment on our Facebook post that links to this article. If you already like us on Facebook, just comment. Deadline is midnight tonight, April 29!

You can learn more about TaraShea Nesbit and The Wives of Los Alamos by listening to our 2014 interview with her in the Literary New England Radio Show archives.
WivesOFLosAlamos_abomb_grandeAn image of the first atomic bomb being exploded and observed by Manhattan Project staff. It was detonated at 5:30 a.m. July 16, 1945, at the Alamogordo air base, 250 miles south of Los Alamos. As most people know, Hiroshima and Nagasaki became the two Japanese sites chosen to be destroyed by the nuclear weapons developed by the Manhattan Project. “Woe is me” was Albert Einstein’s reaction.

Scissors, please. These Spinster-inspired paper dolls are a must!

Spinster Paper DollsBy Cindy Wolfe Boynton
What’s very possibly one of the best things, in my whole life, that I’ve ever stumbled across? These super-awesome literary spinster paper dolls, which were created to go along with the release of journalist Kate Bolick‘s memoir Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own.

Adding to my excitement is that like Bolick herself (who grew up in Newburyport, Mass.), four of the five literary goddesses turned paper play-things have ties to New England. In Spinster, Bolick weaves their lives and choices into her own, showing us the unconventional ideas and lifestyles of:

  • Journalist Neith Boyce, who lived in Massachusetts and is buried in New Hampshire
  • Social visionary Charlotte Perkins Gilman, author of the must-read “The Yellow Wallpaper,” who was born in Hartford, Conn.
  • Poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, who was born in Rockland, Maine
  • Novelist Edith Wharton, who lived in Massachusetts

Irish writer and essayist Maeve Brennan is also featured.

Download printable versions of the paper dolls here, which are part of a “Spinster Kit” that also includes recipes for each of these writers’ favorite cocktails, a list of their works you should read, and a Spinster discussion guide.

SpinsterIn Spinster, which grew out a 2011 cover story Bolick wrote for the Atlantic, Bolick explores not just modern notions of romance, family, career and success, but why she, and more than 100 million other American women, remains unmarried. She uses her personal experiences as a starting point to delve into the history of the idea of spinsterhood, examine her own intellectual and sexual coming of age, and discover why so many fear the life she has come to relish.

Neith Boyce, Maeve Brennan, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Edith Wharton each helped shape Bolick, influencing both her personal and career choices and, ultimately, this book.

Kate Bolick will be one of my guests on the May 11, 2015 Literary New England Radio Show. We’ll also be giving away copies of Spinster, so save the date!

You may also want to mark Friday, May 15, on your calendar. From 5-7 pm, Bolick will be at Edith Wharton’s home The Mount in Lenox, Mass, to give a free reading and signing. Entitled “Kate Bolick’s Awakening at The Mount: A Reading and Reception to Celebrate Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own,” the event will feature hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and, says The Mount website, “conversation about what it means to live independently.” Bolick will also read from Spinster and then sign copies.

If you go, please send photos! I’m so incredibly bummed not to be able to attend.