Author News and Book Reports

Dorothy Allison takes the world on her shoulders and moves it
With an introduction by Miami Herald's Lunch with Lydia blogger Lydia Martin, award-winning novelist, poet, speaker, and activist Dorothy Allison took the stage at the 2011 Miami Book Fair International and began a literary sermon with the fire of a Baptist preacher on her early life as a salad bar girl in Orlando, FL, with a B.A. in anthropology struggling to escape poverty through reading and writing. Allison then invoked the glory of 'story', as tangible as gold, with it's capacity to bring justice and balance to the universe and take a person where she's never been before. Recalling her poverty-stricken, uneducated family life, Allison celebrated the saving grace of lesbianism which allowed her the freedom from childhood pregnancy and ignorant male domination to become educated and gave her the courage to turn to reading and writing for salvation. Looking back on her early activism, Allison evoked a moment at what is today called RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., where she was protesting the Vietnam War, and realized the cruel ironies of the world where good and evil coexisted in a single individual and for the first time in her life doubted the existence of God and justice. Allison then dived into her true passion--books, naming Stephen King and Karen Connelly among the best writers in America for their respective novels--11/22/63, which recently won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mysteries/Thrillers, and The Lizard Cage, which Allison rereads every year. Saying that writers are not nice people, Allison next told the story of a seminal moment in her career, which took place in Maine, where her masterpiece, Bastard Out of Carolina, recently re-issued with a new Afterword (Plume; February, 2012) on the 20th anniversary of its original publication in 1982, was banned. Allison wrapped her presentation with a contemplation of the purpose of teaching, writing, and reading before taking questions from the audience on the comparative values of fiction and non-fiction in the pursuit of truth; the virtues of writer's revenge; and her reading recommendations, noting in particular Hunger Games among others, and commentary on turkey baster babies and her long-awaited next novel, currently titled She Who, expected on bookshelves sometime in 2012-13.

Book and Author Headlines

Sylvia Nasar wins LA Times Prize for 'Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius': Appearing at the 2011 National Book Festival, Sylvia Nasar shows why she won the LA Times Science & Technology book prize for 'Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius'

Maya Jasanoff takes home the NBCC Award for 'Liberty's Exiles': Appearing at the 2011 National Book Festival, Maya Jasanoff presents her award-winning book, 'Liberty's Exiles.'

Nell Irvin Painter and Randall Kennedy survey racial landscapes of black and white America: Two of America's leading African American scholars take stock of 'whiteness' and black politics in the Obama era of America.

Anne Enright strikes a chord for her father in 'The Forgotten Waltz': Booker Prize winning author Anne Enright presents 'The Forgotten Waltz' at BEA 2011.

James Gleick unlocks the history of how we know what we know in 'The Information': Bestselling science and biography author James Gleick, twice short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize, reveals the history, theories, and resulting flood of information that informs our daily lives in his new book, 'The Information.'

Sarah Vowell laments the 'Unfamiliar Fishes' on Hawaiian plate lunches: Author, journalist, and former contributing editor to Public Radio International's 'This American Life,' Sarah Vowell takes a look at Hawaiian history and modern life where the lunch plates have 'Unfamiliar Fishes' and even banyan trees are invading imperialists.

Isabel Wilkerson narrates the triumphs and tragedies of the 'Great Migration' that changed America: The first African-American journalist to win the Pulitzer Prize, Isabel Wilkerson introduces her National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Book, 'The Warmth of Other Suns,' to an overflow audience at the 2011 Miami Book Fair International.

Maya Jasanoff views American Revolution through the British loyalist lense: Associate professor of history at Harvard University and 2011 National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Award nominee Maya Jasanoff tells the story of the American Revolution from the post-war viewpoint of British loyalists.

Nicole Krauss opens the door to 'Great House': Award-winning, bestselling author Nicole Krauss reads from and talks about the thematic patterns and characters in her new hit, 'Great House.'

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