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Books

Author John Elder, far left, leads a writing workshop at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vt., on July 25, 2014, as part of the weekend Boostock event. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen)

The Nature Of Writing

Monday, July 28, 2014

Woodstock — Former Middlebury College English and Environmental Studies Professor John Elder encouraged students to see the outdoors in a new way through a workshop at the Forest Center at Marsh-Billings-Rochefeller National Historic Park in Woodstock on Friday afternoon as one part of a weekend-long annual event known as Bookstock. A group of 18 adults seated at wooden tables arranged …

‘The Mockingbird Next Door’

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What ever happened to Harper Lee? The Alabama native was 34 when her first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was published in 1960. This tale of childhood innocence and racial injustice in the Depression-era South won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, was adapted for an award-winning film with Gregory Peck and became a …

Gordimer Grasped The Power Of Writing

Friday, July 18, 2014

Nadine Gordimer, who died Sunday at age 90, understood the power of writing as a moral force. Not only in terms of literature (although that too) but also politically, in a country — apartheid-era South Africa — where such commitment carried a high price. We think of Gordimer as an international figure, winner …

Kellie Martin: Actor to Writer

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pasadena, Calif. — Actress Kellie Martin was celebrating the best role she’d ever had. Even though she’d starred on shows like Christy and Life Goes On, she was co-starring on ER, a cosmic hit on television. But Martin’s …

Authors and Alcoholism

Friday, June 20, 2014

Our culture has a way of romanticizing the booze-addled scribe, the rakish writer quick with a quip: Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Cheever, Tennessee Williams, Raymond Carver. These were masters of American letters. These were also incorrigible …

Poet Laureate Charles Wright Can Be Hard To Reach

Friday, June 20, 2014

Charles Wright once said, “I want to be the anonymous author.” But for 44 years this modest Southerner has been publishing poetry, and the accolades have kept arriving: a National Book Award, a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book …

‘My Struggle’ Traces a Long Quest for Meaning in Daily Life

Friday, June 20, 2014

My Struggle: Book Three: Boyhood by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett; Archipelago (428 pages, $27) Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle is the buzz book of the moment — or more accurately a certain kind of buzz book, for a certain kind …

Young Adult Novels Are Not for Old Adults

Friday, June 20, 2014

Since The Fault in Our Stars barreled into theaters this month virtually guaranteed to become a blockbuster, it can be hard to remember that once upon a time, an adult might have felt embarrassed to be caught reading the novel that inspired it. Not because it is bad …

‘Hard Choices’ an Easy Read

Sunday, June 15, 2014

She hasn’t decided yet. Or if she has, she’s not telling. But if Hillary Rodham Clinton does run for president in 2016, her new book Hard Choices, a chronicle of her four years as secretary of State, leaves …

Ghosts of the Great War

Sunday, June 8, 2014

What Americans know about World War I is probably nothing to brag about. How it started may be a mystery to many. Why the United States got involved, just as befuddling. Baby boomers may know something about the …

Celebrating a Curious Character

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Most small towns can be counted upon to have their own scribe, the person who records and commemorates its history, and West Windsor is no exception. For a time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Daniel …

Warm Summer Air Carries Writers’ Voices to the Upper Valley

Friday, June 6, 2014

The way some of us who still enjoy driving will from time to time sit back and trust the wheel to another pilot, devoted bookworms in the Upper Valley this summer will find many opportunities to leave the …

A President’s Faith

Friday, June 6, 2014

In 1976, Jimmy Carter won the presidency on a wave of public disillusionment with government. After Watergate, Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace in 1974, and the Vietnam War ended in 1975 with the fall of Saigon. The economy …