Items tagged with Authors

Author Dinitia Smith In Conversation with Sybil Steinberg

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Dinitia Smith discusses her novel The Honeymoon, with Sybil Steinberg, Publishers Weekly contributing editor. Her story is based George Eliot’s honeymoon in Venice in June 1880 following her marriage to a young man twenty years her junior. When she agreed to marry John Walter Cross, Eliot was recovering from the death of George Henry Lewes, her beloved companion of twenty-six years. Eliot was bereft: left at the age of sixty to contemplate profound questions about her physical decline, her fading appeal, and the prospect of loneliness. Based on the life of George Eliot, famed author of Middlemarch, this captivating account of Eliot’s passions and tribulations explores the nature of love in its many guises.

“Smith’s vivid exploration of the mind of author George Eliot, given name Marian Evans, and her late-in-life marriage to John Walter Cross raises the bar for historical fiction…Eliot fans will certainly inhale every page, but any historical-fiction readers will thoroughly relish Smith’s tale of a remarkable woman and an unlikely Victorian love.”—Booklist (starred review)

"Smith’s enchanting account humanizes a figure renowned as much for her refutation of conventional female stereotypes and social limitations as for her genius for story and language."—New York Times Book Review

Dinitia Smith is the author of four novels, including The Illusionist, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. For eleven years, she was a cultural correspondent for the New York Times, specializing in literature and the arts.

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Author David Pogue on His Latest, Pogue's Basics: Money

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Westport author and tech expert David Pogue returns with his new book Pogue’s Basics: Money: Essential Tips and Shortcuts (That No One Bothers to Tell You) About Beating the System.

With 200 simple tips and tricks for making managing your finances easier, this book will shed light on the best ways to save and make money. Pogue will help you spot savings and avoid costly scams. From buying plane tickets, booking hotel rooms, buying a car or house or doing your taxes, there are tips and advice here for every financial decision you make. His expertise in consumer advocacy will inform you of the best products and websites to use to save yourself money.

David Pogue is a New York Times bestselling author who has more than 1.5 million followers on Twitter, has given four TED talks, and is the founder of Yahoo Tech, a consumer-technology site for non-technicians. He writes a monthly column for Scientific American, and for thirteen years, he wrote the tech column for The New York Times. Pogue also hosts science shows on PBS's NOVA and appears frequently on CBS Sunday Morning. He has won three Emmys, two Webby Awards, and a Loeb Award for journalism. He's written eighty books, including the previous books in the series, Pogue's Basics: Life and Pogue's Basics: Tech.

Author photo credit: Tim Geaney

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Author Diane Saxton on Her Novel Peregrine Island

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In her debut novel Peregrine Island, Diane Saxton explores the mysteries behind three generations of women, one valuable painting, the artist who created it and those who would do anything to possess it. Their quiet lives are turned upside down when two art “experts” show up to appraise their beloved family heirloom. In this novel that brings the Sound to vibrant life, not even a painting can be taken at face value: “For what you see, or think you see on Peregrine Island, is seldom what it seems.”

Diane B. Saxton was a journalist with Vanity Fair UK, Holiday Magazine, and Greenwich Review, and covered everything from torture victims to psychics, animal rights activists, exotic travel and movie producers. A new chapter opened up for her after interviewing Amnesty International US founder Hannah Grunwald. Alarmed that the stories of incredible and influential lives such as Grunwald’s could be lost as the Greatest Generation passes, Saxton began capturing their histories and compiled them into a 1,000 page biographical collection, which became the inspiration for her next novel. 

Auhor photo credit Elena Siebert.

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Author Rob Wilder Speaks About His New Novel, Nickel

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Former Westporter Robert Wilder, author of Tales From The Teachers’ Lounge and Daddy Needs A Drink, discusses his newest novel Nickel. Augusten Burroughs, New York Times bestselling author of Running With Scissors, will introduce Wilder.

Nickel is Wilder's first young adult novel. Being a teenager is hard enough without your mother in rehab and your slightly inept stepfather doing his best not to screw things up. But at least Coy has Monroe. Coy is a quirky teenage boy and his best friend Monroe is a girl who is just as odd and funny and obsessed with 80’s culture as he is. So when Monroe comes down with a mysterious illness, his inner turmoil only grows. Augusten Burroughs says, "No one has ever written about the pains of being a teenager–physically and psychologically, inside and out–quite like Robert Wilder in his startling debut novel. He has created indelible characters in Monroe and Coy—funny and sad and strong and broken—and Nickel is about as real as it gets." "Wilder powers his classic coming-of-age narrative with a ferocious storytelling voice ... a humorous, poignant, and formidable debut.”—Booklist, starred review and their Best Young Adult Book of 2016.

A teacher for twenty-five years, Robert Wilder has earned numerous awards and fellowships, including the inaugural Innovations in Reading Prize by the National Book Foundation. He has published essays in Newsweek, Details, Salon, Parenting, Creative Nonfiction, plus numerous anthologies and has been a commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition.
 

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Blending Families

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Licensed marriage and family therapist Trevor Crow Mullineaux speaks about her book Blending Families: Merging Households with Kids 8–18 and addresses year-round strategies as well as specific tips for holidays.

Mullineaux describes steps to take all year long that will help not only during the holidays, but for years to come as families merge. This optimistic book is a resource for many parents and step-parents. The content is organized into three sections. Section one, "Opportunities and Challenges," includes a useful quiz about adult attachment styles and helps you understand your own style and that of your partner. In section two, the authors lay out the "Five Things You Must Have to Succeed," and section three covers "Stories and Practical Insights.” In the “Do’s and Don’ts" list in section 3, the authors reach beyond their own expertise and include insights from marriage-expert John Gottman and financial-expert Suze Orman.

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Healing Through Art & Words: Five Authors Discuss 9/11 and Coping with Tragedy Through a Writer's Lens

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On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, authors Nora Baskin (nine, ten: a 9/11 Story), Gae Polisner (The Memory of Things), Jewell Parker Rhodes (Towers Falling), Wendy Mills (All We Have Left) and Lauren Tarshis (I Survived series) discuss coping with tragedy through a writer’s lens and their new books for middle grades and young adults. The panel discussion will be streamed live via Facebook on the Westport Library's Facebook page.

Link to August 26 New York Times Book Review article about two of these books.

For many, the tragic day of 9/11 splintered lives into a before and after, our hearts deeply fractured in the shift. But for our children, 9/11 sits in what Wonderopolis educator and high school teacher Paul W. Hankins calls an "educational chasm." As he points out, "The majority of students in desks were born after the year 2000. In two years, there will not be a single student without this date/marker. ... It’s a chasm that has real implication in literature and humanities." The 15th Anniversary of 9/11 brings several new novels for middle grade and young adult readers dealing with this topic in varying ways and from different perspectives. The authors will share stories on what brought them to this topic, how they wrote about it and how their books are being received by readers, both adult and children, as well as invite the audience to share stories of their own.

Nora Raleigh Baskin is the author of thirteen novels for young readers and a contributor to two story collections. She has won several awards including the 2010 ALA Schneider Family Book Award for Anything But Typical and a 2016 ILA Notable Books for a Global Society for Ruby on the Outside. Nora has taught creative writing to both children and adults for over fifteen years with such organizations as SCBWI, The Unicorn Writers Conference and the Highlights Foundation, and The Fairfield Co. Writer’s Studio. Her latest, Nine/Ten: A 9/11 Story, has already received starred reviews from both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. 

Gae Polisner is the award-winning author of The Memory of Things, The Summer of Letting Go and The Pull of Gravity. A family law attorney and mediator by trade, but a writer by calling, she lives on Long Island with her husband, two sons, and a suspiciously-fictional-looking small dog she swore she’d never own. When she’s not writing, she can be found in a pool, or better yet, in the open waters of the Long Island Sound where she hopes, one day, to sprout gills and become a mermaid.

Jewell Parker Rhodes is the author of Towers Falling, the Louisiana Girls Trilogy-- Ninth Ward, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, Sugar, winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and Bayou Magic. She is also the Virginia G. Piper Endowed Chair and Director of Arizona State University’s Piper Center for Creative Writing, and has written many award-winning books for adults.books for adults.

Wendy Mills grew up in Virginia and attended Old Dominion University, where she graduated with honors in English and Political Science. She moved to the Outer Banks of North Carolina where she spent several very happy years pursuing a career as a beach bum. First child on the way, she reluctantly decided to grow up, and moved to yet another island off the coast of SW Florida, where she spends her time writing, raising her two children, and dodging hurricanes. Positively Beautiful is her first young adult novel and All We Have Left ​is her second.

Lauren Tarshis is the author of the I Survived series, including The Attacks of September 11, 2001. She is the editor of Scholastic's Storyworks and Scope magazines, and the author of the critically acclaimed novels Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell out of a Tree and Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love.

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Roni Beth Tower on Her Memoir, Miracle at Midlife, in Conversation with Sybil Steinberg

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Roni Beth Tower

sybil steinberg
Sybil Steinberg
 

Former Westporter Roni Beth Tower speaks about her memoir, Miracle at Midlife, with Sybil Steinberg, Publishers Weekly contributing editor. They first meet in Paris in the spring of 1996. David is a divorced American attorney living on a converted barge moored on the banks of the Seine; Roni Beth is an empty-nested clinical and research psychologist working from her home in Connecticut. Now in their fifties, both have signed off on loving again―until they meet each other. Miracle at Midlife tells the inspiring story of Roni Beth and David’s intense and transformative transatlantic courtship. 

Roni Beth Tower grew up in Akron, Ohio, majored in religion at Barnard College, and earned her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Yale University. After working at Silver Hill Foundation, she opened a private practice in Westport, Connecticut; taught psychology courses and supervised graduate students’ clinical work at Yale. Later, she taught clinical psychology to graduate students at Teachers College, Columbia University. As a psychologist, she published seventeen articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, six book chapters, three entries in Blackwell’s The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychology, work for hire in three books edited by Mark Levine and Stephen Pollan, and one book review; presented her work at national and international professional conferences; was President of American Association for the Study of Mental Imagery and on the boards of Connecticut Psychological Association and Yale Alumni Fund. Miracles at Midlife is her first memoir. She and her husband live in Tarrytown, New York, within easy visiting distance of their six grandchildren. She loves yoga, dance, quilting, and bringing comfort and joy to people.

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Author Fiona Davis on Her Novel About the Barbizon Hotel, The Dollhouse

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Journalist Fiona Davis brings midcentury New York and the Barbizon Hotel for Women to life in her debut novel The Dollhouse. Dual narratives, one about a female journalist set in the present day and the other about a female secretarial college student in the 1950s, center on a scandal at the real-life Barbizon Hotel, once a residence for working women (occupants included Joan Didion, Grace Kelly, and Sylvia Plath) located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that’s since been turned into condos.

 

To learn more about the Barbizon Hotel, and to get a feel for midcentury New York, Davis, who has lived in New York for almost 30 years, interviewed women who had lived at the hotel during the 1950s and ’60s. She also read back issues of women’s magazines from the same period. “The articles really showed what messages women were being sent at that time,” Davis says. For Davis, the questions facing women then persist today: “Who are we? Are we defined by our work? By our families?”

“Davis’s impeccably structured debut is equal parts mystery, tribute to midcentury New York City, and classic love story… Darby and Rose, in alternating chapters, weave intricate threads into twists and turns that ultimately bring them together; the result is good old-fashioned suspense.” 
Publishers Weekly, starred review

Fiona Davis was born in Canada and raised in New Jersey, Utah, and Texas. She began her career in New York City as an actress, where she worked on Broadway, off-Broadway and in regional theater. After 10 years, she changed careers, working as an editor and writer and specializing in health, fitness, nutrition, dance and theater. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and is based in in New York City. 

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Author Alex Prud'homme on His New Book, The French Chef in America: Julia Child's Second Act

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Author Alex Prud’homme discusses The French Chef in America: Julia Child's Second Act, his sequel to My Life in France, which was co-authored with his great aunt Julia Child and was the 2014 WestportREADS book. Prud'homme recounts the myriad ways in which she profoundly shaped how we eat today. He shows us Child in the aftermath of the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, finding herself America’s first lady of French food and under considerable pressure to embrace her new mantle. We see her dealing with difficult colleagues and the challenges of fame, ultimately using her newfound celebrity to create what would become a totally new type of food television. The French Chef in America uncovers Julia Child beyond her “French chef” persona and reveals her second act to have been as groundbreaking and adventurous as her first.

Alex Prud’homme is Julia Child's great-nephew and the coauthor of her autobiography, My Life in France, which was adapted into the movie Julie & Julia. He is also the author of The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Freshwater in the Twenty-First Century, Hydrofracking: What Everyone Needs to Know, and The Cell Game, and he is the coauthor (with Michael Cherkasky) of Forewarned: Why the Government Is Failing to Protect Us--and What We Must Do to Protect Ourselves. Prud'homme's journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time and People.

Author photo credit Elena Seibert.

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My Journeys With Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau on Calypso

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Hear stories of life with Jacques Cousteau from Weston native Richard Hyman. In his book Frogmen, which is his personal account of his diving adventures with Cousteau and the crew of the Calypso in Canada, Mexico, Belize and Martinique and his dives on the Civil War’s USS Monitor shipwreck. 

Richard studied environmental engineering, non-fiction writing and business at Yale, Georgetown and Fairfield Universities. He’s held management positions in terrestrial and space-based telecommunications companies, as well as a variety of other technology businesses including remote sensing, biotechnology, software, and Internet services.
 

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