Tonight! Sonja Williams tells us about Richard Durham, a pioneering black journalist whose career spanned print, radio, and the Lone Ranger!
Then on Wednesday we host Kathy Giuffre with her smart, engaging novel, The Drunken Spelunker's Guide to Plato, set in a bar called The Cave in a town suspiciously like Chapel Hill a few decades back.
See more on these events below. We'll be back in a couple of days with all of our events for the next few weeks along with some recommended reading.
This Week at The Regulator
Monday, September 28, 7:00 p.m.
Sonja Williams' incisive biography,Word Warrior: Richard Durham, Radio and Freedom, tells the story of a tireless champion of African American freedom, equality, and justice during an epoch that forever changed a nation. Posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2007, Richard Durham creatively chronicled and brought to life the significant events of his times. Durham's trademark narrative style engaged listeners with fascinating characters, compelling details, and sharp images of pivotal moments in American and African American history and culture. Williams draws on archives and hard-to-access family records, as well as interviews with family and colleagues like Studs Terkel and Toni Morrison, to illuminate Durham's astounding career. Durham paved the way for black journalists as a dramatist and a star investigative reporter and editor for the pioneering black newspapers the Chicago Defender and Muhammad Speaks. Talented and versatile, he also created the acclaimed radio series Destination Freedom and Here Comes Tomorrow and wrote for popular radio fare like The Lone Ranger . Incredibly, his energies extended still further--to community and labor organizing, advising Chicago mayoral hopeful Harold Washington, and mentoring generations of activists.
SONJA WILLIAMS was born and raised in NYC. She wrote and produced features and documentaries for PBS, Public Radio International, the Smithsonian and local radio stations. Williams began teaching at Edward Waters College in Florida and she continued on to Winston Salem State University and is currently at Howard University in their Media, Journalism and Film Department. She also taught in South Africa. Word Warrior is her first book.
Wednesday, September 30, 7:00 p.m.
The Drunken Spelunker's Guide to Platois based on Plato's Allegory of the Cave from The Republic. In this novel, the Cave is a dank basement bar in a small Southern town. Josie is the newest bartender, just arrived from the Appalachian backwoods on a quest to discover who she is and where she belongs. What she finds is the Cave and the love of a charming regular named Danny. With Josie as our brave guide, we are submerged in a rarely explored subculture. Her journey into the Cave and back out is filled with trials and tragedy, but Josie is helped along by her newfound community of large-hearted hard drinkers. The Drunken Spelunker's Guide to Plato is a love letter to the families we build for ourselves and the unexpected ways life can answer the question, what if? Those of us who recall a dank basement bar in a small Southern town called Chapel Hill will have a special treat reading this book.
KATHY GIUFFRE is a professor and sociologist specializing in social networks, cultural sociology, and Polynesian society. Giuffre was invited to present a TED Talk about her research in 2013. She is the author of a memoir, An Afternoon in Summer: My Year in the South Seas, as well as two academic books covering her areas of expertise. Giuffre received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. from Harvard University. Currently, she and her family live in Colorado Springs, Colorado where she is the A.E. and Ethel Irene Carlton Professor of Social Sciences at Colorado College.
Learn more on these and all of our upcoming events
Here's a quick update on our events for the coming week.
Tonight we host Amy Stewart with her marvelous, fictionalized tale of real goings-on in New Jersey a century back, when a spoiled one-percenter of the day met his match in one strong-willed woman. (See below for information on the "New Jersey Automobile" that we will be serving at this event).
We follow Amy Stewart with a tale of another strong woman--this one in Krakow in the 1930s and 1940s. Then on Thursday award winning novelist Nina de Gramont takes us into the psyche of a woman facing down the meaning of love and loyalty.
We end the week with appearances by Rick Bragg and Matthew Guinn--two guys with some spirit of their own!
See details on all of our events through Monday September 21 just below.
Monday, September 14th, 7:00 p.m.,
Amy Stewart's new novel Girl Waits With Gun, follows Constance Kopp, who doesn't quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family - and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared. Girl Waits with Gun is a September IndieNext pick.
Amy Stewart is the author of six other books, including the bestseller The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks. Girl Waits with Gun is her first novel. Stewart is originally from Texas. She currently lives in California, where she has a poison plant garden and is the co-owner of an antiquarian bookstore.
In the spirit (so to speak) of The Drunken Botanist, the event will feature samples of "The New Jersey Automobile," a signature cocktail created by Amy Stewart.
Wednesday, September 16, 7:00 p.m.
In The Girl From Krakow, Rita Feuerstahl goes to the university in Krakow in 1935, but life has other things in store-marriage, a love affair, a child, all in the shadows of the oncoming war. When the war arrives, Rita is armed with a secret so enormous that it could cost the Allies everything, even as it gives her the will to live. She must find a way both to keep her secret and to survive amid the chaos of Europe at war.
Alexander Rosenberg is a professor of philosophy at Duke. He is the author of several books on the philosophy of science, some touching on economics and religion. His last book was The Atheist's Guide to Reality. The Girl from Krakow is his first novel.
NINA DE GRAMONT
Thursday, September 17, 7:00 p.m.
When Charlie is found murdered, his wife Brett is devastated. But, if she is honest with herself, their marriage had been hanging by a thread for quite some time. Though all clues point to Charlie's brother Eli, with his history of mental illness, any number of people might have committed the crime. Charlie Moss was a handsome, charismatic man who unwittingly damaged almost every life he touched. Brett is determined to understand how such a tragedy could have happened--and whether she was somehow complicit. In The Last September, award-winning author Nina de Gramont is at the top of her game as she takes readers inside the psyche of a woman facing down the meaning of love and loyalty. Brilliant rendering of love story, murder mystery, pitch-perfect study of horrific ordinary mental illness, and that rare coming-of-age novel that deals with adults who actually do come of age in the most difficult ways.
Nina de Gramont is the author of the story collection "Of Cats and Men", which was a Book Sense selection and won a Discovery Award from the New England Booksellers Association. Her first novel, "Gossip of the Starlings"was also a Book Sense pick. She is the coeditor of an anthology called "Choice" and the author of several young adult novels. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington
YA BOOK CLUB
Friday, September 18, 6:00 p.m.
Come one, come all to the greatest book club of all! Do you love YA? Are you interested in discussing or starting to read YA? The we'd love to have you! This is a book club for all ages, the only requirement is that you are interested in the young adult genre. (This is to discuss the book alone, not a writer's group). Hosted by Isabel of Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews. Snacks will be provided. This month we'll be reading My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris.
Saturday, September 19, 7:00 p.m.
The Regulator welcomes a return appearance from Rick Bragg, who will read from and discuss his new book, My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South. Keenly observed and written with his insightful and deadpan sense of humor, My Southern Journey explores enduring Southern truths about home, place, spirit, table, and the regions' varied geographies. Everything is explored, from regional obsessions from college football and fishing, to mayonnaise and spoonbread, to the simple beauty of a fish on the hook.
Collected from over a decade of his writing, with many never-before-published essays written specifically for this edition, My Southern Journey is an entertaining and engaging read, especially for Southerners (or feel Southern at heart) and anyone who appreciates great writing.
Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Bragg is the author of numerous books, including All Over But the Shoutin' He writes a regular column for Southern Living magazine and teaches at the University of Alabama.
Monday, September 21, 7:00 p.m.
The Scribe, follows detective Thomas Canby who is called back to the city on the eve of Atlanta's 1881 International Cotton Exposition to partner with Atlanta's first African American police officer, Cyrus Underwood. The case they're assigned is chilling: a serial murderer who seems to be violently targeting Atlanta's wealthiest black entrepreneurs. The killer's method is both strange and unusually gruesome. On each victim's mutilated body is inscribed a letter of the alphabet, beginning with "M." The oligarchy of Atlanta's most prominent white businessmen--the same men who ran Canby out of town, known more openly before Reconstruction as "the Ring"--is anxious to solve the murders before they lose the money they've invested in both the exposition and the city's industrialization, even if resolution comes at the expense of justice. Guinn will be in the store for a reading and signing.
Matthew Guinn, formerly an instructor of English at the University of Mississippi, has published articles on southern literature in "Southern Quarterly", "South Atlantic Review", and "Resources for American Literary Study".
Learn more on these and all of our upcoming events
We kick off our September events next Tuesday evening at 7:00
... with a special community conversation about a subject that has been much in the news lately-race. Randall Kenan andTim Tysonwill lead a discussion focusing on Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates' powerful, enlightening book-length letter to his son about growing up black in America. If you have yet to fully figure out this race thing, this event is for you-which means it is for all of us!
RANDALL KENAN and TIM TYSON DISCUSS "BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME" by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Tuesday, September 8, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
Randall Kenan and Tim Tyson will lead a discussion ofBetween the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates' book-length letter to his son about being black in America, the legacy of slavery and current racism and violence. Coates grounds his own experience in the political, economic and historical context of this country. Between the World and Me is not only on the NY Times Best Seller list, but has been the fastest selling book at the Regulator since it first went on sale in July.
"I've been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates. The language of Between the World and Me, like Coates's journey, is visceral, eloquent, and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory. This is required reading."-Toni Morrison
Randall Kenan grew up in rural North Carolina and attended UNC-Chapel Hill. He worked in publishing and taught writing at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University. He currently teaches English at UNC-Chapel Hill. Kenan is the author of five books, A Visitation of Spirits, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, James Baldwin: American Writer (Lives of Notable Gay Men & Lesbians), Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century, and The Fire This Time.
Tim Tyson also grew up in North Carolina. He attended UNC-Greensboro, Emory and Duke. Tyson has been a professor of history, Afro-American studies and American studies. He currently has a joint appointment with Duke and UNC-CH. Tyson's books include Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy, Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power, and Blood Done Sign My Name.