Sunday, 26 August 2007

Coming up: A rich banquet for literature lovers


Coming up: A rich banquet for literature lovers


For book lovers, the months ahead will have lectures, readings and other events to keep calendars full.

Universities and colleges are bringing in several well-known writers; the Novello Festival of Reading has a solid lineup, too.

I'm anxious to hear Sister Helen Prejean on Oct. 30 at Davidson College.

A death penalty activist, her book -- "The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions" -- is the nonfiction account of her relationships with two death-row convicts before their executions. UNC Chapel Hill selected the book for its new students to read this summer.

Walter Isaacson will be at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory on Oct. 11. Isaacson won raves this spring for his biography "Einstein: His Life and Universe." One critic called the book "delightful" and praised its "seamless narrative."

On Nov. 1 at Lenoir-Rhyne, I don't want to miss Pulitzer Prize-winning Frank McCourt.

I lingered over "Angela's Ashes," the moving account of McCourt's Irish childhood, and the sequel, " 'Tis." Most recently, the writer took readers inside Stuyvesant High School in his memoir "Teacher Man."

This year's Novello Festival has many highlights, too.

If you loved the storytelling in "Cold Mountain," you'll want to hear Charles Frazier on Oct. 11. His 2006 novel, "Thirteen Moons," is set in the Smokies in the 19th century and tells the story of a young orphan who is adopted by a Cherokee chief.

The annual festival, sponsored by the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, is also bringing in Ishmael Beah.

His book, "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier," has spent weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. Born in Sierra Leone in 1980, Beah fled attacking rebels at age 12. He became a soldier at 13.

I'm also saving spots on my calendar for Novello visits by Calvin Trillin ("About Alice") and Dave Eggers ("What is the What").

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