Books

Kirk Douglas Publishes Poetry Book

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Kirk Douglas may be one of the biggest actors of his era, with starring roles in 1960’s Spartacus, 1949’s Champion and 1951’s Ace in the Hole. But on a recent crisp morning, he was having a grand time simply reciting his poetry by heart for an audience of one. With a twinkle of his blue eyes, he proclaimed: Romance begins at 80 And I ought to know. I live with …

A Legacy In Letters and on the Land

Saturday, December 20, 2014

It’s Nov. 21, 2014, about 10 a.m., and I’m heading up the Bill Hill trail in Thetford Center. The morning has been cold and squally, and right now fat snowflakes ride ripples of the shifting wind, settling onto ice that covers this opening bit of trail. I’m here to honor Noel (Ned) Perrin, …

On Prose: For a Writer, What Isn’t in a Name?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Editor’s Note: This is the first “On Prose” column from Lyme novelist, essayist and story writer W.D. Wetherell. Intended as a companion to Sydney Lea’s “On Poetry” columns, “On Prose” will appear semi-regularly on the Valley News Books page.  Let’s start things off with a surprise quiz. What do the following all share in common? Tommy Traddles. Hannibal Chollop. Sissy Jupe. Peepy …

Dartmouth Graduate’s Iraq War Novel Wins National Book Award

Friday, November 21, 2014

At the 2014 National Book Awards ceremony on Wednesday evening, author Ursula K. Le Guin stole the show. The next morning, speaking by phone from a Manhattan hotel, Le Guin was feisty, smart and pointed, speaking about the …

Outdoor Writer’s Book Explores Some of New England’s Best Hikes

Friday, November 21, 2014

Climb Mount Washington in the dead of winter? Barely more than a morning constitutional for Marty Basch. Pedal a gear-laden bicycle from Maine to Alaska, along the Arctic Circle through Scandinavia, or along the Continental Divide from Canada …

Book Notes: A New Life in Verse; Poet Finds Rejuvenation in Latest Works

Friday, November 21, 2014

L aura Davies Foley was 45 when she wrote her first poem. It was 2003, and following the death of her husband she’d moved with their three children to a new home in Cornish on the Connecticut River. …

Raising a Down Syndrome Daughter

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Raleigh, n.c. — Paul Austin’s daughter, Sarah, is thoughtful and helpful, though she goes about it her own way. He recalled an awful day, years ago, when he went for an angry walk after getting in a fight …

Army Colonel Did It Her Way

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Chicago — “Comedian” and “Colonel” aren’t typically words one would use in the same sentence. But when it comes to describing Jill Morgenthaler, no other two will do. “I always wear lipstick, because I look like a boy …

Vampire Lestat Lives Again

Sunday, November 9, 2014

When Anne Rice published Interview With the Vampire in 1976, she didn’t just launch her own vampire series — her sexy tragic vampire antiheroes launched an entirely new genre. The phrase paranormal romance “didn’t exist when I wrote …

The Military Failure of Paul Revere

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ashland, Mass. — Chronicling Paul Revere’s life, author and attorney Michael M. Greenburg reveals the little-known vices and virtues of the American Revolution’s most elusive patriot in a fascinating new biography. After finishing The Court-Martial of Paul Revere, …

Strafford Resident Traces Environmentalism To Civil Rights In New Memoir

Friday, November 7, 2014

Gus Speth and his wife, Cameron, have found home in Vermont. They’ve settled in a state that reminds them of what was good about the South of their youth, a place that de-emphasizes m aterial goods, values individuality, …

On Poetry: Frost’s Early Letters Overturn an Unfavorable Biography

Friday, November 7, 2014

I recently composed an essay on the early letters of Robert Frost for the excellent Georgia Review. In the process, any number of things occurred to me, including — and I have thought on this for some time …

Magazine Editor Unearths Lost Steinbeck Story From WWII

Friday, November 7, 2014

New York — In July 1944, Orson Welles wrapped up one of his wartime radio broadcasts with a brief, emotional reading of a story by one of the country’s favorite authors, John Steinbeck. The piece was titled With …