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Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

Sir Henry Yelverton, the king’s attorney general, was no friend to Sir Walter Ralegh. Yelverton owed his office to the influence of the Howards, the great and powerful Catholic family, secret pensioners of the king of Spain and long-time virulent enemies of Ralegh. And yet, in the attorney’s solemn address before the King’s Bench at […]

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Like their Scot and sassenach ancestors almost 100 years ago, McCords, McGraws and McClellans will gather in the Port City in the coming week to mark the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns and celebrate all things Scots. The Ploughman Poet, as Burns was known, was born in the Scottish lowland town of Alloway on […]

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“…I clicked immediately, curious to see ‘the most famous book’ set in North Carolina. Would it be Thomas Wolfe’s ‘Look Homeward Angel?’ Charles Frazier’s ‘Cold Mountain’? Or maybe ‘A Long and Happy Life,’ the debut novel that vaulted Reynolds Price to national fame? “Wrong, wrong and wrong. The most famous book set in North Carolina, […]

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“I was supposed to appear at a bookstore in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is a conservative Bible-belt town. My publisher [of "A Fortunate Age"] said, ‘There’s no point in going [from New York City] to Charlotte, it’s going to be a complete waste of time, nobody buys literary fiction in Charlotte, the only thing that […]

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A link posted by the indefatigable Jim Romenesko reminded me to check in with author Thomas Kunkel, who discovered Joseph Mitchell’s unfinished memoir while researching a biography of the uniquely esteemed New Yorker writer. Kunkel took a break from his duties as president of St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis., to recall via email […]

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When I travel abroad, I often checkout the local bookstores to see if they carry books by any Tar Heel authors. I am used to finding translations of blockbuster novels by Kathy Reichs, Nicholas Sparks, Orson Scott Card, or Patricia Cornwell. There were some of those in a bookstore in Bratislava that I went in […]

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“I am old enough to remember when Thomas Wolfe seemed secure in the pantheon of 20th-century American writers, the equal, nearly, of Faulkner and Fitzgerald and Hemingway. He is gone from the pantheon today, and I doubt that Tom Wolfe gets asked about his kinship to Thomas Wolfe anymore. “The obscurity of Thomas is an […]

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“Ross McElwee‘s ‘Sherman’s March’ forever altered my writing life. By being as self-reflexive as it is, a heat-seeking missile destroying whatever it touches, the film becomes a thoroughgoing exploration of the interconnections between desire, filmmaking, nuclear weaponry and war, rather than being about only General Sherman…. “…  The best nonfiction jumps the tracks, using its […]

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“Several years ago… I began to be oppressed by a feeling that New York City had gone past me and that I didn’t belong here anymore. I sometimes went on from that to a feeling that I never had belonged here, and that could be especially painful. At first, these feelings were vague and sporadic, […]

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Hannukah, the Jewish festival of lights, offered pale competition for Christmas—puny candles against a dazzling tree, ‘Rock of Ages’ against the tyranny of carols and decorations that took over the stores, the radio, the schools, and the imagination of all my friends. Parents billed Hannukah as ‘better than Christmas,’ an unintentional error that placed a […]

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