Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Club for Writers: Barrett and Shepard

The library will hold its next Book Club for Writers short story discussion on Thursday, July 31 at 7:00 PM. Copies of “Servants of the Map” by Andrea Barrett and “Ancestral Legacies” by Jim Shepard will be available to pick up at the library in advance, and the discussion is free and open to the public.

Winner of the National Book Award and the Story Prize, Andrea Barrett is also the recipient of a MacArthur “genius grant.” She is especially well known as a writer of historical fiction and her subjects frequently include science and scientists. Her collection Servants of the Map was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and was hailed by the New York Times for “a wonderful clarity and ease, the serene authority of a writer working at the very height of her powers.” She teaches at Williams College and published her most recent novel, Archangel, last year.

Jim Shepard is the author of six novels and four collections of short stories, including the Story Award-winning Like You’d Understand, Anyway, in which “Ancestral Legacies” appears. His stories range widely in subject matter and are frequently grounded in substantial historical research; his last two collections included lengthy lists of sources. He is known for vigorously plotted stories that frequently end in the middle of the plot’s events, and for his resistance to what he terms “the tyranny of the epiphany.” Time permitting, the discussion will also take up Shepard’s story “Love and Hydrogen.” Like Barrett, Shepard teaches at Williams College. His most recent collection, You Think That’s Bad, was published in 2011.

The next Book Club for Writers discussion will be held on Thursday, October 23 and will feature two stories by James Thurber, “The Catbird Seat” and “You Could Look It Up.”

Thursday, June 12, 2014


SUMMER READING PROGRAM 
STARTS JUNE 21ST!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Next Book Club for Writers

The library will hold its next Book Club for Writers discussion on Thursday, April 24, featuring short stories by James Baldwin and Percival Everett.

Copies of “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin and “The Appropriation of Cultures” by Percival Everett will be available from the library in advance. The discussion will begin at 7:00 PM at the library and will be free and open to the public.

In fiction, plays, and essays, James Baldwin (1924–1987) was one of the foremost social critics of mid- and late-twentieth century America, addressing issues of race, class, and sexual orientation. His non-fiction works include Notes of a Native Son, The Fire Next Time (which put him on the cover of Time magazine), and The Evidence of Things Not Seen, while his novels include Go Tell It on the Mountain, Giovanni’s Room, and If Beale Street Could Talk. “Sonny’s Blues,” which appeared in the 1965 collection Going to Meet the Man, is frequently anthologized.

Percival Everett is Distinguished Professor English at the University of Southern California and author of more than twenty books. Noted for the wide variety of his work, Everett has written novels with settings ranging from the American West to ancient Greece. He has won the PEN Center USA Award for Fiction and twice won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction. His most recent novel, Percival Everett by Virgil Russell, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was named one of the best books of 2013 by Publishers Weekly. His other books include Erasure and I am Not Sidney Poitier.

Book Club for Writers is a fiction discussion program that meets four times a year. Discussions are open to all, and focus particularly on questions of craft and technique that will interest writers and aspiring writers. Created by the New Hampshire Writers’ Project, Book Club for Writers is sponsored locally by a fiction writing group that meets weekly at the Haverhill Corner Library.

The next Book Club for Writers discussion will be held on Thursday, July 31 and will feature “Servants of the Map” by Andrea Barrett and “Ancestral Legacies” by Jim Shepard.

Calvin Trillin Book Discussion

The library will host a discussion of Third Helpings by Calvin Trillin on Monday, April 21 at 7:00 PM. The program will be free and open to the public.

Readers will find Third Helpings collected in Trillin’s omnibus volume The Tummy Trilogy. This program is the third and final in the library’s discussion series featuring American food writing, led by writer and editor Linda Landrigan.

Calvin Trillin is a journalist, humorist, and food writer. He wrote the “U. S. Journal” feature for The New Yorker for fifteen years; a weekly, syndicated newspaper column, “Uncivil Liberties,” for over a decade; and a weekly column for Time magazine. Also a longtime contributor to The Nation, he currently writes the “Deadline Poet” feature. He was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor in 2012 and in 2013 was inducted into the New York Writers Hall of Fame.

Trillin’s essays on food were collected in American Fried; Alice, Let’s Eat; and Third Helpings, and these three books were subsequently published as a single volume, The Tummy Trilogy.

Though he has written extensively, and with participatory zeal, about food during his career, Trillin once explained to the New York Times that he had no desire to be a restaurant critic. “I’m not interested in finding the best chili restaurant in Cincinnati,” he said. “I’m interested in Cincinnatians fighting about who has the best chili.”

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

MFK Fisher Book Discussion

The library will host a discussion of Serve It Forth by M. F. K. Fisher on Monday, March 17 at 7:00 PM. The program will be free and open to the public.

Readers will find Serve It Forth collected in Fisher’s omnibus volume The Art of Eating. The program is the second in the library’s discussion series featuring American food writing, led by writer and editor Linda Landrigan.

Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher (1908 – 1992) is regarded as one of America’s premier food writers, the author of some 27 books of which the first, in 1937, was Serve It Forth. It was hailed by the New York Times as “erudite and witty and experienced and young . . . stamped on every page with a highly individualized personality.”

Raised in California, Fisher left college to marry and move to Dijon, France, at the time considered one of the culinary centers of the world. For the next several decades, she divided her life between California, France, and Switzerland, writing and publishing steadily, but slow to win wide recognition. As late as 1982, the New York Times Book Review lamented, “In a properly run culture, Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher would be recognized as one of the great writers this country has produced in this century.” She died in 1992 in California at the age of 83, having long suffered from Parkinson’s disease and arthritis.

“It seems to me,” Fisher wrote, “that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it.”

The library’s series on food writing will conclude on Monday, April 21 with a discussion of Third Helpings by Calvin Trillin (collected in The Tummy Trilogy).