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Archives - December 2011

Charles J. Shields spent five years researching and writing AND SO IT GOES: Kurt Vonnegut, A Life.  He is also the author of MOCKINGBIRD: A Portrait of Harper Lee (Holt 2006) ---  a New York Times bestseller. Two years ago, he co-founded the 400-member Biographers International Organization (BIO), and is currently associate director of the Great Lives program, which features presentations by 18-20 biographers each year at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. Shields and his wife, Guadalupe, reside in Barboursville, Virginia. Here he talks about a gift he received in college while struggling to write.
This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the Miami Book Fair, one of the best-run book fairs in the country (and one of the biggest—seriously, if you are a book fan, you owe it to yourself to save up for a vacation to this yearly event; it’s well worth it). One of the great things about it is how friendly they are to graphic novels. In fact, they have a pretty large and significant comics presence at the fair, with panels running all weekend long.
Keija Parssinen was born in Saudi Arabia and lived there for twelve years as a third-generation expatriate. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she received a Truman Capote fellowship, a Teaching and Writing fellowship, and a Michener-Copernicus award for her first novel, The Ruins of Us, forthcoming from Harper Perennial in North America and Faber & Faber in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, and Australia in January 2012. Here she talks about the gold bracelets her mother gave her when her family left Saudi Arabia and moved to the United States.