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Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Robert Olen Butler, William Ferris, and Colson Whitehead
This week: Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler Wednesday night, William Ferris Thursday night
In a starred review, Booklist had this to say about Robert Olen Butler's new novel, Perfume River: "A deeply meditative reflection on aging and love, as seen through the prism of one family quietly torn asunder by the lingering effects of the Vietnam War. Butler, returning to contemporary literary fiction after three outstanding historical thrillers, shows again that he is a master of tone, mood, and character, whatever genre he chooses to explore. This is thoughtful, introspective fiction of the highest caliber, but it carries a definite edge, thanks to an insistent backbeat that generates suspense with the subtlest of brushstrokes."
Then next Thursday, September 22, Colson Whitehead comes to the Durham Armory with his incredible new novel, The Underground Railroad. "With this novel, Colson Whitehead proves that he belongs on any short list of America's greatest authors--his talent and range are beyond impressive and impossible to ignore. The Underground Railroad is an American masterpiece, as much a searing document of a cruel history as a uniquely brilliant work of fiction." --Michael Schaub, NPR
See below for more on all of our events for the rest of the month.
Robert Olen Butler (A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain) will be at The Regulator Bookshop to read and sign his book, Perfume River, an exquisite novel that examines family ties and the legacy of the Vietnam War through the portrait of a single North Florida family.
Robert Quinlan's marriage, forged in the fervor of anti-Vietnam War protests, now bears the fractures of time, both personal and historical. His brother, Jimmy, is estranged from their father, a veteran of World War II at the end of his life. And an unstable homeless man whom Robert meets at a restaurant and at first takes to be a fellow Vietnam veteran turns out to have a deep impact not just on Robert but on his entire family. Perfume River is a lyrically emotional exploration of one family's drama that echoes the lives of many who are affected by the aftermath of war and how war resonates through the American experience.
Robert Olen Butler is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of sixteen novels, including Good Scent From a Strange Mountain and A Small Hotel. He is also the author of six short-story collections and a book on the creative process, From Where You Dream. He has twice won a National Magazine Award for Fiction and received the 2013 F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. He teaches creative writing at Florida State University.
Local author and educator William Ferris will join us for a discussion and signing of his new book, The South in Color: A Visual Journal. Since the moment William Ferris's parents gave their twelve-year-old son a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera for Christmas in 1954, Ferris passionately began to photograph his world. He has never stopped. The sixties and seventies were a particularly significant period for Ferris as he became a pathbreaking documentarian of the American South. This beautiful, provocative collection of one hundred of Ferris's photographs of the South, taken during this formative period, capture the power of his color photography. Tom Rankin, the Director of the Center for Documentary Studies, provides the foreword.
William Ferris is Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. With Ferris's two previous books, Give My Poor Heart Ease and The Storied South, The South in Color: A Visual Journal completes an informal trilogy of Ferris's documentation of the South's tumultuous twentieth century.
Location: The Durham Armory, 220 Foster St., Durham, NC
Join us for a reading, discussion, and book signing at The Durham Armory with prize-winning and bestselling novelist Colson Whitehead and his new novel, The Underground Railroad.
This is a ticketed event. Two tickets come with each purchase of the book ($27.00), or tickets without a book are $10.00 each. Books and tickets may be purchased at the store, through our web site, or at the door. We strongly recommend pre-purchase of the book to avoid a long line at the event. (Pre-purchased books/tickets will have an express line at the Armory). Admission tickets may be used also as credit toward a book purchase at the event. Please note the location.
The Underground Railroad is a tour de force chronicling a young slave's journey as she makes a desperate bid for freedom from an antebellum cotton plantation in Georgia circa 1850. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share. The New York Times Book Review named The Underground Railroad as one of the most anticipated books of 2016; it is also been chosen as a 2016 Oprah Book Club selection.
In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor-engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and cavernous tunnels, crisscrossing beneath American soil. As Cora travels north, her journey transports her across state lines. And along her way, each state he visits portrays a different "state" of American possibility, showcasing a kaleidoscope of communities across the country - from a white supremacist enclave in North Carolina to an Indiana black separatist encampment.
Though its central conceit may be imagined and its narrative not strictly historical, the hideous realities of slavery and institutionalized racism at its center are well grounded in documented facts. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.
Colson Whitehead is the New York Times bestselling author of Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and a collection of essays, The Collosus of New York. A Pulitzer Prize finalist and recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, he lives in New York City.
Brad Weiss will be at The Regulator Bookshop to discuss his newest book, Real Pigs: Shifting Values in the Field of Local Pork
In Real Pigs Brad Weiss traces the desire for "authentic" local foods in the Piedmont region of central North Carolina as he follows farmers, butchers, and chefs through the process of breeding, raising, butchering, selling, and preparing pigs raised on pasture for consumption.
Drawing on his experience working on Piedmont pig farms and at farmers' markets, Weiss explores the history, values, social relations, and practices that drive the pasture-raised pork market. He shows how pigs in the Piedmont become imbued with notions of authenticity, illuminating the ways the region's residents understand local notions of place and culture. Full of anecdotes and interviews with the market's primary figures, Real Pigs reminds us that what we eat and why have implications that resonate throughout the wider social, cultural, and historical world.
Brad Weiss is Professor of Anthropology at the College of William & Mary and the author of The Making and Unmaking of the Haya Lived World: Consumption, Commoditization, and Everyday Practice, also published by Duke University Press, and Street Dreams and Hip Hop Barbershops: Global Fantasy in Urban Tanzania.
Tivka Wolf will be at The Regulator Bookshop with her new book, Ask Me About Polyamory: The Best of Kimchi Cuddles -- a hilarious and touching comic about polyamory, queer, and genderqueer issues.
If your relationships or your gender are unconventional, you'll find useful advice and plenty of laughs in this compilation of the wildly popular webcomic Kimchi Cuddles. Quirky, endearing and charmingly (and sometimes painfully) realistic characters, many based on real people, explore polyamory, queer and genderqueer issues. Covering practical matters like time management and serious topics like discrimination, this book unites the best of two years of Kimchi Cuddles comics, organized into a practical and entertaining guide to the real world of alternative relationships.
Tikva Wolf comes from a long line of love-activists and has been drawing ever since she could hold a crayon. What she primarily cares about in art (and life) is connecting to people, creating dialogue, and spreading awareness. She lives in North Carolina.
Thomas Mullen will read from his new novel, Darktown. The award-winning author of The Last Town on Earth delivers a riveting and elegant 1948-set thriller set in Atlanta that explores murder, corrupt police, and strained race relations that feels ripped from today's headlines.
Responding to orders from on high, the Atlanta Police Department is forced to hire its first black officers, including war veterans Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith. The newly minted policemen are met with deep hostility by their white peers; they aren't allowed to arrest white suspects, drive squad cars, or set foot in the police headquarters.
Set in the post-war, pre-civil rights South, and evoking the socially resonant and morally complex crime novels of Dennis Lehane and Walter Mosley, Darktown is a vivid, smart, intricately plotted crime saga that explores the timely issues of race, law enforcement, and the uneven scales of justice.
Thomas Mullen is the author of The Last Town on Earth, which was named Best Debut Novel of 2006 by USA TODAY. He was also awarded the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for excellence in historical fiction for The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers and The Revisionists. His Atlanta Magazine true crime story about a novelist/con man won the City and Regional Magazine Award for Best Feature. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and sons.
Join TV chef Jennifer Brulé at The Regulator Bookshop for the launch of her new cookbook, Learn to Cook 25 Southern Classics 3 Ways. This event is free and open to the public. Tasty treats from the book will be on-hand to sample and cookbooks will be available for sale and signing by the author at the event.
Jennifer Brulé is on a mission, southern style, to teach people to cook. Her method: master 25 classic southern dishes, and then, make two variations, one contemporary and one inspired by international tastes. Brulé's line-up of beloved southern dishes is irresistible in itself, but she aims to inspire enthusiasm and confidence to expand deliciously from there. The beauty of her approach is that it reflects how people really do learn to cook, resourcefully, creatively, and joyfully. Savor the Classic Chicken and Dumplings and next find yourself cooking Vegetarian Mushroom Stew with Sweet Potato Dumplings before whipping up Hungarian Chicken Paprikash with Dumplings.
Jennifer Brulé graduated from Baltimore International Culinary College and studied recipe development at the Culinary Institute of America. She is a nationally published food writer, recipe developer, and television chef.
Patrick Phillips will join us at The Regulator Bookshop to discuss his new book, Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America. A gripping tale of racial cleansing in Forsyth County, Georgia, and a harrowing testament to the deep roots of racial violence in America, Blood at the Root is a sweeping American tale, spanning the Cherokee removals of the 1830s, the hope and promise of Reconstruction, and the crushing injustice of Forsyth's racial cleansing. The story continues to the verge of our own era, including a violent attack on civil rights activists in 1987, as residents fought to "Keep Forsyth White" well into the 1990s. Patrick Phillips breaks the century-long silence of his hometown and uncovers a history of racial terrorism that continues to shape America in the twenty-first century.
Patrick Phillips is an award-winning poet, translator, and professor. A Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, his most recent book, Elegy for a Broken Machine, was a finalist for the National Book Award in poetry. Phillips lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Drew University.