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Tuesday, April 11, 2017
This week: Two wonderful women writers, two nights in a row!
Stephanie Powell Watts on Wednesday, Lee Smith on Thursday
Thursday evening we host the marvelous Lee Smith, in celebration of the paperback release of her thoroughly enjoyable memoir, Dimestore: A Writer's Life. If you have yet to spend some time with Lee, or if haven't spent time with her recently, or even if you just had dinner with her last night...you are in for a treat if you come to The Regulator Thursday night at 7:00. It is a truth universally acknowledged that Lee Smith is one of our local treasures. See more on Lee and Dimestore in our events listing below.
On Wednesday, the night before Lee Smith's reading, we host a new writer whose first novel is getting incredible reviews from all quarters. No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts is a brilliant recasting of The Great Gatsby among African-Americans in a small town in North Carolina. But I am here to tell you that you don't have to know anything about Gatsby to be completely entranced with this great new novel.
Stephanie Powell Watts can flat out write. Wednesday night you will have a chance to catch a remarkable new writer at the very beginning of her career. And you don't have to just take my word on this. Here are some of the early reviews of No One is Coming to Save Us:
"Watts is so captivating a writer ... (with) a prose style that renders the common language of casual speech into natural poetry, blending intimate conversation with the rhythms of gossip, town legend, even song lyrics ... What Watts has done here is more captivating than another retread about the persistence of a crook's dream. She's created an indelible story about the substance of a woman's life."
--Ron Charles, The Washington Post
"Watts writes about ordinary people leading ordinary lives with an extraordinary level of empathy and attention."
--Jade Chang, The New York Times Book Review
"In the best possible way, this is the kind of book that makes a reader yearn for her next one."
--Sarah Begley, Time
"It should not go unsaid that the central characters are African-American, a deliberate choice in a narrative that doesn't so much adapt as wink at a classic that kept those kinds of characters on the margins. For the most part, they are still on the margins. But No One Is Coming to Save Us pivots the default lens to spotlight their experience - the poverty surrounding them, the pain they harbor and the peace in letting that pain go. In the hands of a less competent author, this could have devolved into mere voyeurism into the traumas and triumphs of black people. Instead, Watts, with her knowing touch and full-bodied prose, delivers a resonant meditation on life and the comfort both in dreaming and in moving forward."
--Jaleesa M. Jones, USA Today
"Watts powerfully depicts the struggles many Americans face trying to overcome life's inevitable disappointments. But it's the compassion she feels for her characters' vulnerability and desires that make the story so relevant and memorable."
Our Upcoming Events for the next two weeks. Poetry, sci fi, history, and a Ninth Street Sidewalk Sale!
Stephanie Powell Watts joins Travis Mulhauser (Sweetgirl) in conversation about Powell Watts's debut novel, No One is Coming to Save Us --a brilliant recasting of The Great Gatsby among African Americans in the South. A story about the ghosts of the past and departed, as well as the lives of the living, the novel is a complex, post-integrationist tale that charts new territory in the New South. "Stephanie Powell Watts's inspired reimagining of the novel long regarded as the American masterwork of the twentieth century gives soul, body, and voice to those left out of Scott Fitzgerald's vision of the American dream."-- Sigrid Nunez, author of The Last of Her Kind and Sempre Susan.
Stephanie Powell Watts is an associate professor of English at Lehigh University, and has won numerous awards, including a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Southern Women's Writers Award for Emerging Writer of the Year. She is the author of the short story collection, We Are Taking Only What We Need. Travis Mulhauser's novel Sweetgirl was long-listed for The Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize, an Indie Next Pick, and winner of a Michigan Notable Book Award in 2017. He is from northern Michigan and lives in Durham, North Carolina with his wife and two children.
Thursday, April 13, 7:00 p.m.
Bestselling author and Hillsborough darling Lee Smith will read from her memoir, Dimestore: A Writer's Life in celebration of its paperback release. Set deep in the rugged Appalachian Mountains, the Grundy, West Virginia of Lee Smith's youth was a place of coal miners, mountain music, and her daddy's dimestore. It was in that dimestore--listening to customers and inventing life histories for the store's dolls--that she began to learn the craft of storytelling.
"Smith delivers a memoir that shines with a bright spirit, a generous heart and an entertaining knack for celebrating absurdity."-The New York Times Book Review
Lee Smith began writing stories at the age of nine and selling them for a nickel apiece. Since then, she has written seventeen works of fiction, including Fair and Tender Ladies, Oral History, and, most recently, Guests on Earth. She lives in Hillsborough with her husband, the writer Hal Crowther.
Saturday, April 15, 7:00PM
Turkish scholar Erdağ Göknar comes to The Regulator for a reading and book signing of his new collection of poetry, Nomadologies --
a significant literary and scholarly work of poetry on Turkish diaspora and Turkish-American cultural conflict. Nomadologies is an insightful collection for readers interested in Turkish and Islamic culture, those interested in questions of exile and definitions of home, and those who are looking for great new lyrical poetry.
"Göknar takes us on a dazzling virtual world tour encompassing history, aesthetics, and politics, from Bosnia to Chechnya to the Silk Road to Union Square and back to the place that was once the center of the civilized world, Istanbul/Constantinople." -Richard Tillinghast, author of An Armchair Traveller's History of Istanbul
Erdağ Göknar (MFA, Univ. of Oregon) is the award-winning translator of Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red and Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar's A Mind at Peace. A recipient of two Fulbright awards, he teaches Turkish and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke, and directs the Duke University Middle East Studies Center. Nomadologies is his first collection of poetry.
Tuesday, April 18, 7:00PM
Science fiction writer John Kessel will read from and sign copies of his newest book, The Moon and the Other. One of the most visionary writers in the field, Kessel has created a rich matriarchal utopia, set in the near future on the moon, a society that is flawed by love and sex, and on the brink of a destructive civil war.
"The future has seldom been imagined with such intensity of detail. John Kessel has shot the moon with this book." Karen Joy Fowler
John Kessel lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, novelist Therese Anne Fowler. He is a professor and the director of creative writing at North Carolina State University. He is the author of The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories and Corrupting Dr. Nice.
PRESCHOOL STORY TIME
Wednesday, April 19, 10:15AM
Join us for Preschool Storytime at The Regulator Bookshop. Free!
With 10 years of experience as a Children's Librarian, Amy Godfrey is known for her energetic musical story times and is bringing that fun to The Regulator on Wednesday mornings.
The Land of Enterprise, a new, gripping history of America-told through the executives, bankers, farmers, and politicians who paved the way from colonial times to the present-reveals that this country was founded as much on the search for wealth and prosperity as the desire for freedom. Waterhouse's new book is not only a comprehensive look into our past achievements, but offers clues as to how to confront the challenges of today's world: globalization, income inequality, and technological change.
Benjamin C. Waterhouse is a historian of 20th century American politics, business, and capitalism. He is associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
SPRING DISCOUNT CLUB SALE AND 9TH ST. SIDEWALK SALE
Saturday, April 22, 10AM -- 8PM
Join The Regulator and other fine 9th St. Merchants for our annual Spring Sidewalk Sale! Stroll the length of 9th St. in Durham on Saturday, April 22 for superior quality and value, and great finds!
PLUS, The Regulator's 20% OFF Discount Club Membership Sale is THIS SATURDAY (April 22). For members of our discount club, all books in the store will be 20% off. Come get your Mother's Day/Father's Day/Graduation Day shopping done early. Shop local!