Tapestry, from 90.3 WBHM

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From July 7, 2005...

Arts news

There's nothing quite like curling up with a good book on a long, hot summer afternoon. I'm Greg Bass and tonight's Tapestry is all about books that could make good reads whether you're on the beach, or on the porch. We listen back to interviews with authors Sony Brewer and T.R. Pearson. Also we'll hear a review of the book Redneck Riviera and, music from improv violist Ladonna Smith. But first this art news with Rosemary Pennington...

Arts news

T.R. Pearson

First up on our perusal of summer reading is a novel from author T.R. Pearson. He's been compared to Mark Twain and William Faulkner for his Southern influenced prose and circuitous, anecdotal narratives. Pearson's first novel, A Short History of a Small Place won rave reviews when it debuted. It's the story of a North Carolina town told through the eyes of 13-year-old Louis Benfield. Twenty years later Pearson's out with the sequel Glad News of the Natural World. In "Glad News" Louis Benfield's fully-grown, though not quite grown up, and doing a number of odd jobs in New York. WBHM's Tanya Ott spoke with Pearson about the book.

Interview with T.R. Pearson

T.R. Pearson, talking about his novel Glad News of the Natural World. Pearson's next book is a non-fiction retelling of the story of a man who sailed a homebuilt raft across the Pacific.

Redneck Riviera

The summer days might have you longing for an exotic escape...maybe to the French Riviera? If you can't quite get there you can always read about a place closer to home. In Redneck Riviera, Dennis Covington chronicles one man's attempt to achieve the American Dream. The book is also the story of a family trying to stay together as values clash in rural America. Randy Blythe has a review.

Review of Redneck Riviera

The Poet of Tolstoy Park

If you feel up for a road trip this summer, Fairhope, Alabama, is just a few hours away. Once there you'll come upon a strange, round house the former home of eccentric philosopher Henry Stuart.

In 1925 Stuart was told he didn't have long to live and he should move somewhere warm. So he packed up and headed to Alabama – where his habit of going barefoot and his love of Russian author Leo Tolstoy set him apart from the crowd. Fairhope resident Sonny Brewer grew up hearing tales of the shoeless philosopher and has written a novel The Poet of Tolstoy Park based on Stuart's life. WBHM's Rosemary Pennington talked with Brewer about his book and the unusual way it begins.

Sonny Brewer interview

Author Sonny Brewer talking about his book The Poet of Tolstoy Park-the story of Fairhope philosopher Henry Stewart.

What's going on in and around the Birmingham area. For additional details, go to our online version of the Community Calendar.

Community Calendar

LaDonna Smith

A writer once said of Birmingham native and improv violinist Ladonna Smith – she drops sonic blocks on you while she plays. Smith's been dropping those "blocks" for the last 20 years – creating her own style of improv. Her music of the moment has made her an important fixture on the international new music scene. It addition to playing, Smith also teaches improvisation and is the Director of the Birmingham Suzuki Violin Association. This new recording is "Flight of the Bumblebee" off the upcoming CD "The Watchful Ear". Smith playing slide violin with Susan Alcorn playing steel guitar. (AUDIO MONTAGE) Music from improv violist Ladonna Smith. She and steel guitarist Susan Alcorn will be playing the Moonlight Music Café on Tuesday July 12th. There's more of Smith's music for download in the Tapestry section of WBHM-dot-org.

Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott, Michael Krall and, this week, Rosemary Pennington. Hunter Bell handles our music. Our reviewer was Randy Blythe. I'm Greg Bass...thanks for listening.

Support for Tapestry comes from the Jefferson County Commission through the Jefferson County Community Arts Funds administered by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham.