The power of love, friendship, family and the Sept. 21, 1938 hurricane — a once-in-a-hundred-years-storm that caught the East Coast totally unaware — serve as the backdrop of Beatriz Williams’ new novel, “A Hundred Summers.”

The Connecticut resident is one of the authors featured on the June 3 Literary New England Radio Show. We’ll also be live Tweeting with her from 8-9 pm Thursday, June 13 … So please mark your calendars and plan to join us, using the #LNEChat hashtag!

This 75-year-old video offers a look at the storm. In a short essay, Beatriz says this: By the morning of Sept. 21, only the diehards remained, and only the old salts noticed that the sky dawned as red as blood for the third morning in a row. The winds started picking up around lunchtime, but the forecast had suggested a blustery afternoon and no one was worried. Then the sky turned to ochre and the power lines began to shriek, and by ten minutes to four o’clock, a storm surge of around 20 feet hit Rhode Island in a wall of sudden water. Winds gusts of 186 miles per hour were recorded at the Blue Hill Observatory in Massachusetts. A Boston mother [who spent the morning picking peaches with her children] made it home just in time. Her daughter, then six, always remembered the way the scent of peaches hung about the house for weeks afterward, until the electricity was restored and the fruit could be safely cooked and made into preserves for the winter.

Did you know Truman Capote went to high school in Connecticut?

Truman Capote, one of the most celebrated authors of the 20th century, moved to Greenwich, CT, when he was 15 and lived with his family on Orchard Drive. He attended Greenwich High School  from 1939-1942, though never graduated. He dropped out at 17 to take a job as a copyboy at The New Yorker. However, Capote credited Greenwich High School English teacher Catherine Woods as being the first person to recognize his writing talent and giving him the encouragement and discipline needed to become a writer. At her prodding, he wrote poems and stores for the school literary magazine, The Green-Witch. In 1956, Capote dedicated his famous short story “A Christmas Memory” to Woods.  Enjoy this video about Capote and his time in Greenwich, created by the Greenwich Historical Society.

imageA sneak peek into Monday’s Literary New England Radio Show >> An audio excerpt of Erika Robuck reading from the first chapter of her novel Call Me Zelda!! Make plans to tune in to the show June 3 at 8 p.m. to hear our conversations with four fabulous authors who, in addition to Erika, include:

  • Beatriz Williams on A Hundred Summers
  • David Samuel Levinson on Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence
  • Daniel James Brown on The Boys in the Boat

 Listeners will also have the chance to win copies of all four books!

 Use this link to follow, favorite or get a reminder about the show:

Connecticut native Wally Lamb yesterday, May 30, at Book Expo America 2103, reading and speaking about his new novel, “We Are Water,” due out on November. Set in Connecticut, the book’s main character, similar to Lamb, works at a New England university. Lamb is a former UConn professor. He told the crowd at the BEA that the plot also involves two traumatic events that occurred in his own childhood. He also said: “Writers and readers are two poles. [Books and stories} are the electricity that connect us.” …. What a great way to describe the power of stories and storytelling. (Photo courtesy of BEA Digital Press Room)