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From July 20, 2006...
The temperatures are soaring and the days are long... And you may be looking for a good read to take to the beach or lake. Take your pick... Summer reading on tap today. Plus, R&B from Birmingham's Mose Stovall. I'm Greg Bass and this is Tapestry.
"The war began thirty years, nine months and seven days ago, when I was deaf and blind, floating silent and serene inside Hazel Crabtree".
That's the opening line from Joshilyn Jackson's newest novel, Between, Georgia. Set in a small southern town, it's a story about family and identity. A tale of a woman who's lived her whole life "between a rock and a hard place". "Between, Georgia" is Jackson's second novel. Her first "Gods in Alabama" was a critically acclaimed and well-received debut. Jackson spoke with WBHM's Rosemary Pennington about her latest literary offering ... also, about the mythical sophomore curse.
Imagine being seventeen, a hot shot basketball player, a popular girl when war lands on your doorstep. You're forced to leave your home, your school, your friends. Eventually you take up a rifle and become an adult much too quickly.
That's exactly what happens in Scott Simon's first foray into the world of fiction Pretty Birds. Simon is the host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday and has spent much of his career covering war ... including the Balkan war that destroyed Sarajevo. It's in that city, in the midst of a siege, that we meet the protagonist of Simon's novel ... 17-year-old basketball star turned sniper, Irena Zaric.
WBHM's Rosemary Pennington talked with Simon about writing the novel and about covering the war.
Simon's book has just been released in paperback.
The Hmong population have been emigrating to the United States for decades, basically forced to leave Laos after the Vietnam War because of their anti-Communist stand with the West. Over the years, they settled in different pockets around the country -- mainly northern California and the upper Midwest. And that's caused a culture clash in some communities, a clash that author Anne Fadiman describes in the book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. In it, a small epileptic child is at the center of a debate over medical treatment and language translation among other things. Fadiman talked with Steve Chiotakis about the book and the little known-Hmong people and why many were forced to come to America in the first place.
To hear the audio portion of the Community Calendar from Tapestry, click here.
Want to know more? Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.
Mose Stovall discovered his love of music in elementary school - but it wasn't the usual piano or violin that grabbed him. Stovall loved the trumpet. He played it day and night! A few years later he discovered he also liked singing - and was pretty good at it. He eventually sang with the Birmingham Civic Opera, Birmingham All City Choir and the State of Alabama Choral. And now, he's got a solo career as an R&B artist, fronts a group called "The Force Five Band and Show" Ensemble, and co-founded the Music Makers Recording Studio. From Stovall's upcoming CD, this is the tune I Can't Stand.I Can't Stand
There's more of Mose Stovall's music available for download deeper inside WBHM-dot-ORG.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall. Our music producer is Hunter Bell and Francesca Rosko keeps tabs on what's happening around town. Additional reporting this week from Rosemary Pennington and Steve Chiotakis. I'm Greg Bass. Enjoy what's left of the summer!