Items tagged with Authors

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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Local Author Paul Ferrante on His New Book, The Rovers: A Tale of Fenway

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Coleytown Middle School teacher Paul Ferrante will discuss his new adult novel, The Rovers: A Tale of Fenway. Using interviews with sportswriter Robert Creamer and former Red Sox pitcher Bob Cremins, he creates a fast-paced novel about  baseball and Irish heritage in 1920s Boston.

Paul has been an award-winning secondary school English teacher and coach for over 35 years, as well as a columnist for Sports Collector’s Digest writing on the subject of baseball ballpark history. Many of his works can be found in the archives of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. The T.J. Jackson Mysteries young adult series led Paul to speak at the 150th Anniversary Battle Commemoration in Gettysburg and the National Baseball Hall of Fame during their 75th Anniversary celebration. The Rovers: A Tale of Fenway is his first adult novel.         

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Author Haris Durrani

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In conjunction with the Westport Country Playhouse production of The Invisible Hand, engineer, writer & academic Haris Durrani talks about his fiction debut Technologies of Self. In it, he immerses readers in the life of a young American Muslim struggling to understand himself in the context of his family, classmates, and contemporary urban life. Engineering student Jihad, or “Joe” as he introduces himself in the confusing intersections of post-9/11 New York City, finds himself on a personal quest of possibly a spiritual nature, even if he isn’t sure that’s what it is – after all, it’s hard enough to keep halal in his Dominican-Pakistani-Muslim Washington Heights household.

He’s surprised to find himself in the stories his Uncle Tomás tells of his own youth, stories in which Tomás fights both the devil and the weaknesses of the flesh – often at the same time. Culture, nation, religion, family, identity, race, and time fight for dominion over Jihad until he realizes he is facing the same demon his uncle claims to have defeated, and all Jihad has to fight with is himself.

Community partners: Westport Country Playhouse & TEAM Westport
Note location: Lucille Lortel White Barn at the Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court

Durrani’s stories, memoirs, and essays have appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, The University of Toronto Undergraduate Journal of Middle East Studies, The 2014 Campbellian Anthology, The New York Review of Science Fiction and The Best Teen Writing of 2012, 2011, and 2010. He writes for altMuslimah and has appeared regularly on John Hockenberry’s NPR show The Takeaway.

Haris A. Durrani is the author of Technologies of the Self (Brain Mill Press, 2016), winner of the Driftless Novella Contest. His short story "Forty-two Reasons Your Girlfriend Works for the FBI, CIA, NSA, ICE, S.H.I.E.L.D., Fringe Division, Men in Black, or Cylon Overlords" (Buffalo Almanack, December 2015), a prequel to Technologies, won the McSweeney's Student Short Story Contest and the Inkslinger Award for Creative Excellence. His novelette Tethered (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July-August 2013; reprinted in Lightspeed, May 2016) was a Writers of the Future Semifinalist. Buffalo Almanack described his work as "stories about colonialism, neoliberalism, conspiracy bullshit, and a Trumped-out America at the gates of hell."

His essays, memoirs, and fiction have appeared in or are forthcoming from Comparative Islamic Studies, Catapult, The New York Review of Science Fiction, Media Diversified, altMuslimah, and The Best Teen Writing of 2012 (editor), 2011, and 2010. He is a 2009 alum of the Alpha Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Workshop for Young Writers and was a 2011 Portfolio Gold Medalist in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, for which he currently serves on the Alumni Council. He has been interviewed regularly on NPR's The Takeaway with John Hockenberry.

Durrani is a J.D. candidate at Columbia Law School, where he looks at the intersections of technology and disenfranchised communities. He holds an M.Phil. in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge and a B.S. in Applied Physics from Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science, where he minored in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies and co-founded The Muslim Protagonist Literary Symposium on "literature as an agent of social change" for Muslim communities and allies.
 

Westport Country Playhouse
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Bestselling Young Adult Author Kimberly McCreight

May 20, 2016
Kimberly McCreight

Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia and Where They Found Her spoke about her new young adult trilogy The Outliers on May 20, 2016.

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Kimberly-McCreight-5-20-16.mp3


Cancelled: Author Leslie Kerr on Aviation Pioneer Harriet Quimby

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This event has been cancelled.

Honor National Aviation Day and hear Westport writer Leslie Kerr discuss her book Harriet Quimby: Flying Fair Lady. A portion of American Experience's Fly Girl about Harriet Quimby will also be shown. Quimby (1875-1912) was the first female to earn her pilot's license; the first American female to successfully fly the English Channel; the first woman in the United States to attain a driver's license and own her own automobile; the first credited female scriptwriter for D.W. Griffith's Biography Studios; the first to design flight attire for women (still the prototype today); the first official brandspokesperson for an American advertising campaign; the first female to use a camera and capture photos of the over 250 stories she filed from around the world for Leslie's Illustrated Weekly.

Leslie Kerr has been a writer and editor for over twenty-five years and has led numerous writing workshops across the country and abroad. She is the owner of LKB Associates, an editorial consulting firm in Westport, Connecticut.

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Author Lauren Belfer on Her New Novel, "And After the Fire"

May 12, 2016
Lauren Belfer

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Belfer spoke about her new historical fiction And After the Fire on May 12, 2016. She was introduced by Sybil Steinberg, Publisher's Weekly contributing editor.

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Lauren-Belfer-5-12-16.mp3


Internationally Bestselling Author Charlotte Rogan on Her New Book, "Now and Again"

May 3, 2016
"Now and Again"

Westport author Charlotte Rogan discusses her new book, Now and Again on May 3, 2016.

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Charlotte-Rogan-5-3-16.mp3