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Books

Virginia "Ginnie" Davenport, looks over a wall of family photographs at her home in Thetford, Vt. on Feb. 24, 2015. The painted portrait of Davenport on the left was made by an Italian artist from a photograph Davenport's  husband carried with him during World War II, when the couple was secretly engaged.   (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck)
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Deep, Clear Memories: Writing Courses Spur Thetford Woman’s Memoir

Friday, February 27, 2015

While assembling the first volume of her memoirs in 2013, Thetford Center resident Virginia “Ginnie” Davenport ventured several times through the countryside of Middlesex, Vt., in search of remnants of the farm where she’d spent childhood summers with her mother’s parents during the Great Depression. In the company of her former creative writing teacher, Hilary Mullins of Bethel, and of …

On Poetry: The Moral Force of Jean Connor’s Poems

Friday, February 27, 2015

It has been almost two years since I celebrated one of Vermont’s literary treasures, Jean Connor, a poet who, after a long career as a librarian in upstate New York, now lives at Wake Robin in Shelburne, Vt. Here I offer such celebration again, for no especial reason save that I’ve lately been rereading her 2005 collection, A Cartography of Peace. The book …

‘What Pet Should I Get?’ New Dr. Seuss Book Due Out in July

Friday, February 27, 2015

Another recently-discovered manuscript is coming to summer reading lists, this time in the form of a new Dr. Seuss book. The manuscript by the late author Theodor Geisel, a 1925 Dartmouth College graduate known to readers as Dr. Seuss, is coming out in July-the same month as the release of a recently-discovered novel by Harper Lee. Random House Children’s Books announced recently that …

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 …

Norman Lear Doesn’t ‘Stifle’ in New Book

Sunday, November 2, 2014

New York — From the moment Norman Lear began writing his memoir, he knew what the first line would be: “When I was a boy I thought that if I could turn a screw in my father’s head …

Children’s Book Examines Atheism

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Washington — Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten is known for exploring morality in both somber and extremely silly ways, including an in-depth article on parents who mistakenly leave their children to die in hot cars and …

Humor in Pain, Pain in Humor: Author James McBride Finds the Funny in Slavery, Poverty, Abuse

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Good Lord Bird, James McBride’s 2013 novel about a young boy in abolitionist John Brown’s ragtag army, is probably the funniest book about slavery you will ever read. His 1996 memoir, The Color of Water, about his …

Warhol Bodyguard Sued Over ‘Liz’

Saturday, October 25, 2014

New York — Andy Warhol’s foundation sued the iconic pop artist’s former bodyguard, accusing him of stealing Liz, a 1964 painting of actress Elizabeth Taylor, and hiding it for more than 30 years. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, established by the artist’s will to hold …

On Poetry: Children, Schools, Football and What We Value

Friday, October 24, 2014

This fall, our news, and not merely in the sports outlets, was filled with Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice’s brutal assault on his wife in an Atlantic City elevator. Rice was at first slapped on the wrist by league commissioner Roger Goodell: a two-day suspension. Goodell increased …

‘Book of Life’ Finds the Whimsy in Death

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Animation fans may face a tough choice at the multiplex this weekend. On some screens, you’ll find the whimsical, old-school animation of the stop-action feature The Boxtrolls. Set in a subterranean world, that movie tells the story of …

How an Affair Poisoned Politics

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Like many aspirants to the presidency, former Sen. Gary Hart saw himself in epic terms — as a “transformational figure” in American politics, Matt Bai reports in his book recounting the collapse of Hart’s 1988 bid for the …