Jane Ciabattari http://publicradioeast.org en Harrowing Memories, Intersecting Lives In 'Thirty Girls' http://publicradioeast.org/post/harrowing-memories-intersecting-lives-thirty-girls The central drama in Susan Minot's fourth novel comes from a real-life episode in October 1996, when 139 girls at St. Mary's College in Aboke, Uganda, were abducted by guerillas from the militant Lord's Resistance Army. The school's Italian headmistress followed the rebels into the bush and retrieved all but 30 of the girls — hence the title.<p>Minot is best known for exquisite minimalist explorations of love, desire, and complicated family ties among upper-crust Easterners. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 00:03:00 +0000 Jane Ciabattari 34208 at http://publicradioeast.org Harrowing Memories, Intersecting Lives In 'Thirty Girls' Debut Novel Offers Surprisingly Dark 'Vision' Of Shaker Life http://publicradioeast.org/post/debut-novel-offers-surprisingly-dark-vision-shaker-life In August 1837, a group of girls aged ten through fourteen in a one-room Shaker schoolhouse received "signs from the world beyond." One by one they began singing, jerking, chanting, and reciting Latin. This miraculous phenomenon went on for hours. Elder Sister Agnes, the schoolteacher, witnessed it all. Tue, 14 Jan 2014 12:02:00 +0000 Jane Ciabattari 31962 at http://publicradioeast.org Debut Novel Offers Surprisingly Dark 'Vision' Of Shaker Life Opening The Literary Liquor Cabinet In 'Echo Spring' http://publicradioeast.org/post/opening-literary-liquor-cabinet-echo-spring Remember Brick's frequent trips to "Echo Spring" in <em>Cat on a Hot Tin Roof</em>? Echo Spring, Olivia Laing reminds us in her illuminating new book, is a nickname for the liquor cabinet, drawn from the brand of bourbon it contains. Tue, 31 Dec 2013 12:08:00 +0000 Jane Ciabattari 30972 at http://publicradioeast.org Opening The Literary Liquor Cabinet In 'Echo Spring' Raymond Carver And His Editor Re-Imagined In 'Scissors' http://publicradioeast.org/post/raymond-carver-and-his-editor-re-imagined-scissors The legendary minimalist short story writer Raymond Carver distilled the last decade of his life in his poem "Gravy." "Gravy, these past ten years," he writes. "Alive, sober, working, loving, and being loved by a good woman."<p>Carver was dying of cancer by the time he wrote the poem (he died in 1988 at age 50), but he didn't dwell on that. "I've had ten years longer than I or anyone expected," he writes. "Pure Gravy. Wed, 21 Aug 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Jane Ciabattari 21507 at http://publicradioeast.org Raymond Carver And His Editor Re-Imagined In 'Scissors' 'Woman Upstairs': Friendly On The Outside, Furious On The Inside http://publicradioeast.org/post/woman-upstairs-friendly-outside-furious-inside Claire Messud's cosmopolitan sensibilities infuse her fiction with a refreshing cultural fluidity. Her first novel, <em>When the World Was Steady</em> (1995), followed two midlife sisters in search of new beginnings, one in Bali and the other on the Isle of Skye. In her second novel, <em>The Last Life</em> (1999), a teenager reacting to a family crisis pondered her father's origins in Algeria and southern France, and her mother's New England roots. Thu, 25 Apr 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Jane Ciabattari 12532 at http://publicradioeast.org 'Woman Upstairs': Friendly On The Outside, Furious On The Inside From Cincinnati To North Korea, We All Wake Up 'Lonely' http://publicradioeast.org/post/cincinnati-north-korea-we-all-wake-lonely When Fiona Maazel published her first novel, <em>Last Last Chance</em>, in 2008, her frenetic imagination and sharply etched characters earned her a spot on the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 authors list. Her 29-year-old narrator, Lucy, was heading into her seventh stretch in rehab; Maazel filtered her addiction, grief, self-involvement and fear through a scrim of dark humor.<p>There's a comic overlay to her second, even more frenzied and inventive novel, <em>Woke Up Lonely</em>. Wed, 10 Apr 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Jane Ciabattari 11370 at http://publicradioeast.org From Cincinnati To North Korea, We All Wake Up 'Lonely' Tender Portraits Of Worn-Down Women In 'This Close' http://publicradioeast.org/post/tender-portraits-worn-down-women-close Jessica Francis Kane drew considerable attention for her artful historic novel, <em>The Report</em>, which explored the repercussions of a tragic incident in March 1943, when 173 people died while rushing into the Bethnal Green tube station for shelter during an air raid. Her portraits of wartime Londoners were psychologically acute and rich in evocative detail. She applies that same skill to her second collection, <em>This Close</em>, populated by 21st century Americans adrift in an increasingly complicated world. Thu, 14 Mar 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Jane Ciabattari 9362 at http://publicradioeast.org Tender Portraits Of Worn-Down Women In 'This Close'