From Kelly Cherry tonight (Wednesday, March 3) to Jodi Picault next Monday, there’s a lot of great readings on the North Carolina lit calendar over the next few days.
First up, Kelly Cherry shares selections from her new collection, Girl in a Library: On Women Writers and the Writing Life, tonight at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh. While Cherry’s reputation across a broad swath of genres speaks for itself, Booklist gave high praise to the new collection in particular: “Piquant essays on family history and her coming-of-age are deepened by reflections on beauty, art, and vocation. In fresh and inquiring portraits of exceptional southern women writers — Eudora Welty, Elizabeth Hardwick, Mary Ward Brown, Bobbie Ann Mason — Cherry explores the nature of a literary life.”
Another highly praised author, Chris Bohjalian of Midwives fame, brings his new novel to several Triangle-area bookstores this week. Secrets of Eden has been earning mixed reviews, including those in the Washington Post and the Seattle Times, though the Miami Herald was more positive. He’ll be at Quail Ridge on Thursday, March 4; at Durham’s Regulator Bookshop on Friday, March 5; and at McIntyre’s Books in Fearrington Village on Saturday March 6. Plenty of opportunities to check out the author and book for yourself.
Two other authors are also making the rounds. George Bishop, a graduate of the MFA program at UNC-Wilmington and now a resident of New Orleans, has written a debut novel that’s already earning high marks. The Wilmington Star-News ran a feature on Letter to My Daughter last month in advance of his reading at his alma mater tonight. He’ll also be appearing in the Triangle twice in the days ahead: at the Regulator on Thursday, March 4, and at Quail Ridge on Friday, March 5.
And Washington Post reporter Anne Kornblut brings her Notes from the Cracked Ceiling: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin and What It Will Take for a Woman to Win to both the Regulator (Saturday, March 6) and to McIntyre’s (Sunday, March 7). Check out this interview with Kornblut at U.S. News and World Report.
Also on Sunday, a pair of fine poets make an afternoon visit to Quail Ridge Books: Tony Abbott, a good friend of mine from my days at the N.C. Writers’ Network, will read from his recently published New & Selected Poems 1989-2009, and he’ll be joined by Larry Johnson, author of Veins.
And then, last but hardly least, Jodi Picoult reads from her new novel, House Rules, at Quail Ridge Books on Monday, March 9. Just yesterday, the book earned a rave review from Maureen Corrigan at the Washington Post. If that doesn’t whet your appetite for the novel itself, I don’t know what will.