Archive for September, 2007

Gerald Duff Shares Responses to His Upcoming Book of Short Stories

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007 by Lyndsey

Gerald Duff, author of the well-received novel Coasters (NewSouth Books, 2001) and Fire Ants, a new collection of short stories from NewSouth, shares these responses to “The Way a Blind Man Tracks Light,” a short story from Fire Ants which appeared in the most recent issue of The Kenyon Review:

I love the way publication of a work brings your readers closer. In just a couple of weeks since the new issue of The Kenyon Review came out, I’ve had numerous emails from friends and strangers alike.

Among those: Steve Stern, author of the novel The Angel of Forgetfulness and several collections of short stories, wrote to say that he loved my story — he called it “haunting and colossal” — and commented that it was the title which drew him in.

A reader from Towson, MD, said the story, though “dark and scary,” was also especially riveting. “Thanks, particularly,” she wrote, “for the section in which the narrator says ‘time is a snarl of string. Pull on that string and there’s no telling what will rise up coming toward you.'” Lauren Small, a short story writer from Baltimore, shares that the title likewise seized her imagination and the “power of the writing itself” struck her forcefully.

Thanks to all of these people for their generous comments and for taking the time to write.

Fire Ants is forthcoming from NewSouth Books in November 2007. Read the full text of “The Way a Blind Man Tracks Light” at the Access My Library website.

Coasters is avaliable from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite online and retail booksellers.

Author and Artist Alan Gerson to Debut New Art Series

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007 by Lyndsey

Alan Gerson, author of Habeas Circus: Illegal Humor, will showcase his new art series Wild Child at Steve Martin Studio in Miami from October 13 to the 31. Wild Child explores “the underlying wildness, danger, and uncontrollability of man’s basic nature, as well as its connection to the wildness and indifference of nature.”

Gerson’s Habeas Circus is a hilarious book combining art and humor to illuminate the comical side of the legal profession. He is also the author of the poetry volume Things We Cannot Know.

For additional information about the event, contact the Steve Martin Studio at 305-484-1491 or visit them online at

Habeas Circus: Illegal Humor is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite online or local bookseller.

Old Wars (and Harold Bosley) Remembered

Friday, September 21st, 2007 by Brian Seidman

Les Dunbar, contributor to Where We Stand (NewSouth Books 2004) and the forthcoming sequel, American Crisis, Southern Solutions: Where We Stand II (February 2008), sends this message occasioned by a recent trip:

Peggy and I went last week on an Elderhostel to Baltimore for a wonderful three days of Mozart and other music, played beautifully by pianists at the Peabody Institute. I lived my late teens in Baltimore, my parents perforce uprooted from West Virginia’s Greenbrier Valley. So I have a store of memories of the city, and Peggy has hers. Among mine is the handsome square where the Peabody is located, including its statue to Maryland’s son, one time Chief Justice Roger Taney, who like a number of southern political figures — Senator Fulbright, for one example — had commendable records on issues other than race, on which they were abominable.

A prominent feature of the square is the large Mt. Vernon Methodist Church. I remember going to it several times in 1940, maybe in 1939, too. I did so in order to hear the preacher, Harold Bosley. He was a strong voice for non-involvement in the looming war in Europe. I liked his message. (I believe he later became Dean of Divinity at Duke University.) We have, mostly, forgotten how strong was the oppostion to American involvement at the time. Who now recalls that the Draft passed by only one vote in the House? The intercollegiate debate topic in 1940 was phrased something lilke this: Resolved, that the U.S. should extend economic assistance to England and its allies. I never heard an affirmative team that did not make its case, that economic aid would not lead to military involvement, or a negative team that did not insist it would. A year later that was all changed (and so was my opinion).

I am reminded, too, of the first war against Iraq, now generally regarded as a “good, at least necessary” war, and approval ratings for its leaders are high. But opposition to it at the time was fierce. Who now remembers that Senator Sam Nunn was a leader of it? In Durham, N.C. one night, we had an almost unbelievable thousands — some reports were 5,000 — out for a candle-lit demonstration in opposition.

We embrace our wars, typically, and dis-remember their dissenters. I read already in the newspapers discussion of the “next” war; is war to be always our destiny?

Has warring become the essential American way of life? Especially as it has become so distant from most of our daily lives? And when as today in Iraq we can hire its warriors, as old monarchs did? What have we become?

Ninth Annual Jewish Children's Book Writers' Conference on Nov. 18, 2007

Thursday, September 20th, 2007 by Brian Seidman

Anna Olswanger, author of the NewSouth book Shlemiel Crooks announces the Ninth Annual Jewish Children’s Book Writers’ Conference, held at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan on Sunday, November 18, 2007, from 9:00 am to 5:00 p.m. The conference is co-sponsored by the 92nd Street Y Buttenwieser Library and the Jewish Book Council.

Featured speakers are senior editor Reka Simonsen of Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, editor Jennifer Wingertzahn of Clarion Books, senior editor Lindsey Silken of JVibe/JFL Media, sales manager Sarah Aronson of Jewish Lights Publishing, literary agent Kirsten Wolf of Jill Grinberg Literary Management, and associate art director Einav Aviram of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Author and illustrator Neil Waldman, winner of the National Jewish Book Award, will give opening remarks, and the day will include sessions on publishing and writing in Israel, the Sydney Taylor Book Award and Manuscript Competition, and new this year: a panel on “How I Got My First Book Published.”

The registration form is available for download at Call 212-415 5544 or e-mail for additional information or to request the form by mail. The final registration deadline is November 12. The conference is $85 before November 1 and $100 after November 1, and the fee includes kosher breakfast and lunch.

If you write or illustrate children’s books for the Jewish market, this conference is for you!

Judge Author Frank Sikora Interviewed on Tapestry

Monday, September 17th, 2007 by Mary Katherine

Frank Sikora, author of The Judge: The Life and Opinions of Alabama’s Frank M. Johnson, Jr. was interviewed recently by Greg Bass of Birmingham, Alabama’s WBHM public radio program Tapestry.

The Judge tells the life story of Judge Frank Johnson, focusing on his courtroom contributions to civil rights. In the interview, Sikora said that if Judge Johnson hadn’t acted in Montgomery, Alabama, “I don’t know that things would have progressed as they did … I think he put [the civil rights movement] 10 or 15 years ahead of where it would have been otherwise.”

When asked if Johnson ever had “the sense that he was on the right side of history” Sikora responded, “I think he surely did but he just didn’t say that. He though if he was fair, that was all he could ask. With his rulings he became, obviously, the most celebrated judge in the twentieth century in America, and maybe in history.”

Click here to listen to the entire interview.

The Judge: The Life and Opinions of Alabama’s Frank M. Johnson, Jr. is avaliable from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite online and retail booksellers.

Grievances Praised in New First Draft Online Book Reviews

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007 by Brian Seidman

Writer and journalist Julia Oliver has reviewed Mark Ethridge’s novel Grievances for the new online book review section of First Draft magazine, published by the Alabama Writers’ Forum. Oliver notes that Ethridge “has made the crossover from award-winning, third-generation newspaperman to first-time novelist with grace and aplomb.”

Grievances tells the story of an unsolved civil rights murder in South Carolina, and the newspaper investigation with both political and personal repercussions for journalist Matt Harper. “Overall here,” writes Oliver, “Ethridge appears to have found a comfortable sweet spot somewhere between the breakneck urgency of big city journalism and the more measured craft of tension-filled fiction writing.”

The Alabama Writers’ Forum promotes and facilitates the practice of literary arts through its services to writers and the general public. With individual and corporate associates statewide, the Forum represents the diverse voices of today’s writing talent. First Draft magazine’s new online book reviews feature twelve reviews each month of books by Alabama authors, books about our state, and books by local publishing houses. First Draft Reviews Online also includes a searchable archive to benefit readers, students, and scholars.

Grievances ��is �available ��from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite local or online book�� retailer.