IT ALMOST FELT LIKE A FAMILY MEMBER DIED when, in August 2015, I realized I needed the time I was using to produce the Literary New England Radio Show to care for my elderly parents instead.
Reaching as many as 10,000 fellow bibliomaniacs an episode, I hosted the show for four fantastic years, interviewing best-selling authors as diverse and talented as Margaret Atwood, Nathaniel Philbrick, Geraldine Brooks, Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult, Chris Bohjalian, and Deborah Harkness. And when it was gone, I mourned.
But I am thrilled to announce that today, with this post, Literary New England is back!
While the original Literary New England was primarily a weekly podcast, the new Literary New England will take several forms. Rather than try to cram our celebration of New England-connected books and authors into one, weekly, hour-long podcast, we’ll deliver our coverage in more bit-sized servings, and dish it out several times a week.
From this website, Literary New England will feature:
- Book reviews
- Print and audio author interviews
- Video shorts
- Travel suggestions to New England #LitLocations
- #NovelFacts on New England books and authors
- And much more!
Because Badass Bookish Women (to be known here as BBWs) don’t always get the ink and recognition they deserve, we’ll be paying extra attention to showcasing empowering and inspirational literary females from the past and present. A truth: The #FutureIsFemale. And while we love men, we believe it’s women who will ultimately change the world.
People have asked why—when there are so many different books and authors, from so many different places—I focus on New England. I’ve given different answers. But I think Alison Hawthorne Deming, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s great-great-granddaughter, answered that question best when I interviewed her in January 2012, and she talked about New England being a place where people practice “high thinking and plain living.”
Our nation started here. Stories have been lived and told here not just since the Mayflower landed in 1620, but for centuries before. There is a palpable sense of belonging here that I believe draws and inspires people. It certainly inspires me. And that sense of place, history, and life—lived in every imaginable circumstance and time—is a powerful thing.
Cindy Wolfe Boynton