Author News and Book Reports

Ann Beattie, winner of $30,000 Rea Award for short story writing, reads 'Coping Stones'
Demonstrating the style and angst that made her famous, Ann Beattie read her most recently published New Yorker short story, Coping Stones (September 12, 2005 issue), to an appreciative audience at the University of New Hampshire one week before she was awarded the $30,000 Rea Prize for her body of work in short story writing. In Coping Stones, Beattie brings to life Dr. Cahill who is coping with life after the death of his wife, whom, he confides to a neighbor, he did not love, when he receives a Code Enforcement notice and a visit from a man he has dubbed You Got No Choice, who informs him that his friend and tenant, Matt, has been arrested for child-molesting. When the police arrive to investigate, Cahill learns that Matt had got into an altercation in prison and been stabbed 'with a homemade shiv.' Sorting through his failed relationship with his wife and his weight-lifting, steroid-popping daughter, his building code violation, and the new porch he is planning to build with Roadie, the carpenter, to expand his life, he visits his wife's grave, which, he discovers in horror, has been desecrated, he believes at first, by his neighbor's dog, Napoleon. Grabbing the dog by the collar and dragging him to the grave, Cahill realizes Napoleon's innocence and asks for forgiveness. After the reading, Beattie took questions from the audience and discussed character and point-of-view, the story's structure and her writing process.

Book and Author Headlines

Umberto Eco sheds light on 'The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana': Famed semiotician and novelist Umberto Eco offers a love letter to literature at BookExpo America 2005

John Irving wrestles with tattoos and broken hearts in new novel, 'Until I Find You': Thirty-seven years after 'The World According to Garp' John Irving presents his longest narrative yet at BookExpo America 2005

Michael Cunningham follows 'The Hours' with inter-species love story: Bestselling author Michael Cunningham describes his new novel, 'Specimen Days,' as a futuristic love story between a lizard and a cyborg

Paul Theroux travels to Ecuadorian jungle in quest for magic potion and grist for new novel: Bestselling author Paul Theroux reminisces with Mike Wallace, and introduces his new novel about a writer whose quest for success leads him to the Ecuadorian jungle and Borroughs-like drug-induced sex and blindness

Nick Hornby's 'A Long Way Down' goes a long way up New York Times and BookSense bestseller lists: Nick Hornby talks about inspiration, ideas, and his new bestselling novel, 'A Long Way Down' at BookExpo America 2005

Chernow, Achenbach and Ferling portray Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Hamilton in a modern light: Ron Chernow, Joel Achenbach, and John Ferling illustrate how modern issues and debates began with Founding Fathers

Al Franken follows 'Lies' with 'The Truth'; hosts BookSense Awards with Christopher Paolini: Satirist turned author turned political radio show pundit Al Franken introduces new book to booksellers and teams with award-winning children's book author Christopher Paolini to present BookSense Awards

Congressman Bernie Sanders calls on bookstores and readers to support Freedom to Read: U.S. Congressman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) blasts Section 215 of the Patriot Act and calls on nationwide coalition to support a Freedom to Read amendment

John M. Barry digs up deadly past to learn its lessons for the future: Bestselling author John M. Barry (Rising Tide)tells epic story of the deadliest plague in history in The Great Influenza with an eye on the not-too-distant future

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