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Amherst Books
8 Main Street  Amherst, MA 01002  ·   413.256.1547  ·  800.503.5865  ·  books@amherstbooks.com

< October 2007 >

Events listed in white are at the bookshop; events listed in yellow are elsewhere.

All events are free & open to the public.

(Click on a picture or a title to check our inventory or to purchase.)
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Joanna Scott will read at the University Gallery at the University of Massachusetts as part of the University of Massachusetts Creative Writing Program's Visiting Writer Series.   Scott is author of several novels, including, Manikin, Liberation, & Tourmaline, as well as two collections of short stories, Everybody Loves Somebody & Various Antidotes,   She has received numerous honors for her writing, including Guggenheim & MacArthur Foundation fellowships, a Pushcart Prize, the Rosenthal Award from the Academy & Institute of Arts & Letters & a Lannan fellowship.
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Pamela Thompson will read from her new novel, Every Past Thing.   Thompson received her B.A. from Yale College, where she was an editor of the feminist journal Aurora, & her M.F.A. in writing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she studied with John Edgar Wideman & received the faculty's annual prize.   She has also studied writing at the Writer's Voice in New York City & the Bread Loaf writing workshop.   For the last decade, she has been the editorial director at Interlink Books/Olive Branch Press in Northampton.   Her novel, Consolation, was a finalist in the William Faulkner Novel-in-Progress competition.
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University of Massachusetts English professor John Clayton is author most recently of a collection of short stories, Wrestling with Angels: New & Collected Stories, and a novel, Kuperman's Fire.   Clayton is also author of The Man I Never Wanted to Be, a novel, & two collections of short fiction, Bodies of the Rich & Radiance, which won the Ohio State University award in short fiction & was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in 1998.   He has also written a good deal about modern fiction, including Gestures of Healing, a psychological study of modern British & American fiction.   His Saul Bellow: In Defense of Man won awards in literary criticism.   He has published literary criticism on various twentieth century writers including D.H. Lawrence, E. L. Doctorow, & Grace Paley.   Read more!
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Join University of Massachusetts professor David Toomey in celebrating the publication of his new book, The New Time Travelers: A Journey to the Frontiers of Physics.   In his new book Toomey explores the possibilities implicit in the theories of physicists like Kip Thorne & Stephen Hawking.   Are visits to the past or future really possible in a universe populated by disappearing jinns, naked singularities, & quantum foam? (Read more!)   Toomey is also author of Stormchasers: The Hurricane Hunters and Their Fateful Flight into Hurricane Janet &, with Leslie Haynsworth, Amelia Earhart's Daughters: The Wild & Glorious Story Of American Women Aviators From World War II To The Dawn Of The Space Age.
“Live Lit”   Students in the M.F.A. Program at the University of Massachusetts will read from their recent work.   Evenings usually include a mix of poetry & fiction.   Tonight's readers T.B.A.
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Join Chef Debi in celebrating the publication of Chef Debi Dishes from Spain & Italy.   Chef Debi Llorens is a 2003 graduate of the Connecticut Culinary Institute.   She's been a “roving” guest chef on a cooking show on WGBY Channel 57 television in Springfield, has been a gourmet takeout chef at Armata's in Longmeadow & a baker at the Village Store & Café in Wilbraham.   Since 2005 Llorens has been the resident gourmet chef for The Republican's Plus Papers, dishing out tasty & tempting recipes in her weekly column,—& now she's put it all together in her new cookbook.
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“Jubilat/Jones Reading Series”   James Tate & Matthew Rohrer will read from their recent work as part of the jubilat/Jones Reading Series in the Trustees Room at the Jones Library, 43 Amity Street in Amherst.   Tate is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Return to the City of White Donkeys; Memoir of the Hawk; Shroud of the Gnome; Worshipful Company of Fletchers, which won the National Book Award; Selected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize & the William Carlos Williams Award; Distance from Loved Ones; & The Lost Pilot, which was selected by Dudley Fitts for the Yale Series of Younger Poets.   He has also published a novel, Lucky Darryl, two collections of short stories, Hottentot Ossuary & Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee; & edited The Best American Poetry 1997.   His honors include a National Institute of Arts & Letters Award for Poetry, the Wallace Stevens Award, & fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation & the National Endowment for the Arts.   He teaches at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst & is currently a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.   Matthew Rohrer is author of several volumes of poetry—Hummock in the Malookas, which was selected by Mary Oliver for the 1994 National Poetry Series; Satellite; & Green Light.   He has published two works in collaboration with Joshua Beckman, a book—Nice Hat. Thanks., & an audio cd—Adventures While Preaching.   He is poetry editor for Fence magazine & lives in Brooklyn.

The reading will be preceded by a ‘Poetry Swap' at 2:00 PM.
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Katherine Arnoldi & Sue Owen will read from their recent work.   Arnoldi's new volume of short stories, All Things Are Labor, has just won the Juniper Prize for Fiction.   The Juniper Prize is given by the University of Massachusetts Press to honor and publish outstanding works of literary fiction.   Arnoldi is a writer, graphic novelist, artist, teacher, & activist for equal rights to education for teen mothers.   Her graphic novel, The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom, was named one of the top ten books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, was nominated for the Will Eisner Award in the Graphic Novel & received two American Library Awards.   Owen, who taught as the Poet-in-Residence at Louisiana State University, is the author of four volumes of poetry—Nursery Rhymes for the Dead, The Book of Winter, My Doomsday Sampler &, most recently, The Devil's Cookbook.   Poet & biographer Daniel Mark Epstein said, “There is far more than lively wit at work in these brooding, obsessive poems.   Sue Owen has a gift for symbol & allegory, & she has undertaken no less than a review of Dante's – or Milton's or anyone's – Hell.   There are so many masterful poems in this collection one hardly knows where to begin to cite them.”
Join Amherst's beloved Gale McClung in celebrating the publication of a book that she & her late husband, Robert, were editing before Bob died, At War & at Home: One Family's World War II Correspondence.   This extraordinary collection of World War II correspondence offers a fascinating look at the lives of an average American family from western Pennsylvania.   With all three sons participating in the war, the McClung family members, all remarkably good letter–writers, had ample opportunity to share their thoughts & views on life in the war & on the home front.   Read more!
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CANCELEDYvette Christianse will read as part of the the Amherst College Writing Center's Visiting Writers Series.   Christianse is author of a book-length poem, Castaway, & a novel, Unconfessed, which was chosen as a finalist in the 2007 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award given to a novelist for a distinguished first book of fiction.   It is based on the court case of a nineteenth century South African slave accused of killing her son.
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Join University of Massachusetts professors Jim Boyce & Krista Harper in celebrating the publication of a new anthology of articles, Reclaiming Nature: Environmental Justice & Ecological Restoration.   Boyce (along with co-editors Sunita Narain & Elizabeth Stanton) has assembled a collection of work which offers a hopeful new vision of the relationship between people & nature.   The contributors to this volume chart a course between denial & despair over world’s mounting environmental problems.   They realize that human activities can have positive impacts on nature’s wealth as well as negative ones.   The crucial question is how we can tip the balance in favor of the positive.   Read more!
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Justine Dymond will read her O. Henry Prize winning story, “Cherubs”.   Her story “The Emigrant,” drawn from her experiences teaching in a French prison, won The Briar Cliff Review fiction prize, was published there, & was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.   Her poetry & fiction have appeared in such national literary journals as Massachusetts Review, Cimarron Review, WomenWriters.net, & Pleiades.   She is currently working on a novel based on “The Emigrant.”
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Join us in celebrating the publication of a new book by University of Massachusetts history professor, Stephen PlattProvincial Patriots: The Hunanese & Modern China.   Stephen Platt specializes in the intellectual & political history of China from the late Ming to the present, with particular interests in regionalism, foreign contact, & the origins of Chinese nationalism.   This is his first book.   Read more about the book!
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Welcome Stefan Petrucha to the Valley by joining us in a party to celebrate the publication of two of his new books for teens: Wicked Dead: Lurker & Teen, Inc.   Lurker is the first in the “Wicked Dead” series:

Seventeen-year-old Mandy has everything: popular friends; a hot boyfriend; plans for college, travel, the future. But after classmate Nicki is gruesomely murdered, Mandy is shaken to her core. Soon she's jumping at shadows and having nightmares of Nicki's killer—the Witchman. Mandy tells herself she's just imagining things—but nothing in her imagination prepares her for the terror that's about to attack.

Teen, Inc. tells this story:

Legally, a corporation is a person, so why shouldn’t they be able to adopt a child? Fourteen year old Jaiden’s family is a corporation & his home is an office building. When his parents are killed in an accident caused by a faulty piece of equipment manufactured by NECorp, the company adopts him & raises him in its headquarters. Now as a teenager, Jaiden, is longing for a normal life—attending high school, living in a house, having a girlfriend—& is starting to rebel in search of it. With the help of his new friend, Jenny, he uncovers some disturbing & scandalous information about NECorp & must make the tough decision to stay loyal to his “family” or to follow his instincts. Jaiden’s funny & fresh voice makes this a quick, enjoyable read & the suspenseful plot will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Petrucha is author of many other books for young adults—including, Beowulf; Frankenstein: The Shadow Of Frankenstein Volume 1; & the four books of the “Timetripper” series: Yestermorrow, InRage, BlindSighted, Future Imperfect.  
Join us for the opening reception of Titles: An Exhibition of Artists' Book Works organized by the Toronto-based WayUpWayDown collective.   Shown in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Fine Art Center's University Gallery (see here), Titles is an itinerant exhibition that is designed to adapt & travel to bookstores in different cities.   Amherst-area artists, designers & architects were invited to produce book works or related artworks that have a relation to the chosen title found under a category in the bookstore (i.e. literature, children’s books, art, etc.) & are placed in a slot on the shelf according to alphabetical ordering.   A list will be provided to the visitors to locate the works.

Titles is planned to coincide with "BookMarks: A Celebration of the Art of the Book", a region-wide celebration of the book sponsored by Museums10.   For more information on "BookMarks" see here.
The first exhibition of Titles opened in June 2007 at Balfour Books in Toronto with 28 participating artists.   Its second venue will be at Amherst Books, & will then travel to Montreal later in this fall.   This project reflects the “curatorial” interest of the WayUpWayDown collective to set in motion itinerant exhibition structures & maneuvers.  It is the mandate of the collective to facilitate tenuous & fluid relations between exhibitions, artworks, & communities.
The exhibition at Amherst Books will run from October 24, 2007 — November 25, 2007.
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Meet the philosophers!   Join Amherst College professor Alexander George & some of the local contributors (philosophy professors Louise Antony, Nalini Bhushan, Jyl Gentzler, Joseph Moore & Matthew Silverstein) to What Would Socrates Says? Philosophers Answer Your Questions About Love, Nothingness, & Everything Else.   The great tradition of human reflection may date back to ancient Greece, but that doesn't mean philosophy can't be practical in our everyday lives.   Get your questions ready!   Read more!
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Deborah Eisenberg will read from recent work as part of the Amherst College Writing Center's Visiting Writers Series.   Eisenberg has written four collections of stories, Transactions in a Foreign Currency, Under the 82nd Airborne, All Around Atlantis, & recently Twilight of the Superheroes.   Her first two short story collections were republished in one volume in The Stories (So Far) of Deborah Eisenberg.   She has also written a play, Pastorale, which was produced at Second Stage in New York City in 1982.   Eisenberg was the recipient of the Rea Award for the Short Story in the year 2000, an award granted for significant contribution to the short story form.   She has also been the recipient of such awards as a Whiting Writers' Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, & three O. Henry Awards.   Critic Ben Marcus, reviewing Twilight of the Superheroes for The New York Times, called Eisenberg “one of the most important fiction writers now at work.”
“Live Lit”   Students in the M.F.A. Program at the University of Massachusetts will read from their recent work.   Evenings usually include a mix of poetry & fiction.   Tonight's readers are: Matt Gagnon, Mark Koyama, Kate Garklavs, Megan Turner, & Ezekiel Black.
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Join Erica Verrillo for a Hallowe'en Book Signing Party & Costume Contest (open to ages 9-13).   First prize for best home–made costume: A signed copy of Elissa's Quest, a middle reader fantasy set in an enchanted world of talking animals, treacherous spies, enigmatic prophecies, & the funniest camel in zoological history.   Elissa, the intrepid heroine of the novel, is a 13–year–old orphan who knows nothing of her own origins—until a mysterious stranger arrives in the remote hamlet of High Crossing.   She leaves home with him, only to find that she's become a pawn in a battle for his kingdom.   Accompanied by her dear donkey, Gertrude, she sets out to uncover the truth of her origins, unwittingly stepping straight into the clutches of the evil Khan.   Elissa's quest for freedom & the truth about her past leads to questions about her own destiny—a destiny which may determine the fate of the entire world!   (Read more about the book!)

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