Cover To Cover is the anchor program for GPB’s literary coverage. Cover To Cover features a collection of distinctive Southern voices interviewing Georgia writers, Southern writers, and writers dealing with the South. The GPB Southern Lit Cadre will provide you with a varied, weekly glimpse at fiction, non-fiction, history, poetry, and even the occasional ‘old school’ nod to Flannery O’Connor or William Faulkner.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Collin Kelley: Conquering Venus

Novelist Man Martin interviews Collin Kelley, the author of the novel, Conquering Venus (2009, Vanilla Heart Publishing). Conquering Venus is the story of young American writer, Martin Paige, who chaperones a group of high school seniors on their trip to Paris as a favor to his best friend, teacher Diane Jacobs. Martin finds himself falling in love with David, one of the students, and meets a mysterious Parisian woman, Irene Laureaux, who spends her days spying on the hotel guests across from her apartment.

Martin and Irene discover they have a logic-defying connection: a small tribal tattoo on their left hands that means equal but opposite. This is same tattoo that Martin's lover and Irene's husband had inked into their skin. All the characters' lives are irrevocably changed in a horrifying terrorist attack on a Paris metro station. Liberated by the blast, forced from her own self-imprisonment, Irene learns her husband's death was not an accident, and dares Martin to acknowledge the role he played in Peter's suicide.

Diane, harboring her own secrets and a hidden agenda, takes a drastic step to force David out of the closet and admit his feelings for Martin. From America to England to France, the globe-hopping story places fictional characters amidst historical events such as the Nazi occupation of Paris, the student/worker riots of 1968 and the terrorist bombings of Paris in 1995. Grounded in reality, Conquering Venus is a mystery, a love story and a journey of self-realization.

Collin is also author of three poetry collections, After the Poison, Slow To Burn and Better To Travel. Kelley, a Georgia Author of the Year Award-winner and Pushcart Prize nominee, is also co-editor of the Java Monkey Speaks Poetry Anthology series from Poetry Atlanta Press.

Listen to this episode

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Karen White: The Lost Hours

Author of award winning novels such as Learning to Breathe, Karen White shares her love for the coastal lowcountry and Savannah in her latest novel, The Lost Hours. The story is set by the Savannah River on a plantation that is full of secrets, waiting to be uncovered. Piper, the young woman in the novel, must face certain truths about her family's history. She is joined by a colorful group of characters who come together to heal their wounds and find a common thread.

Karen dedicates the book to her maternal grandmother, Grace Bianca, inspired by her stories and the stories of others who passed through her grandmother's house.

Karen's work has appeared on the South East Independent Booksellers best sellers list. Her novel Learning to Breathe received several honors, including the National Reader's Choice Award.
Listen to this episode

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Michael Malone: The Four Corners of the Sky

Frank Reiss recently sat down with author Michael Malone to talk about his book, The Four Corners of the Sky. He had this to say about the author:

Michael Malone might not be the best known of the South's many prolific novelists of the last 30 years, but with novels like Handling Sin, Dingley Falls and a number of others, he has established a base of loyal fans who love his work for its variety, humor, colorful characters and warm humanity.

All of these qualities came through in the man himself as we discussed his latest novel, The Four Corners of the Sky, the story of a navy pilot, inspired by Malone's own daughter's fleeting interest in such a career. In his rendering, the story is overlayed with plot-lines and themes that make it a romance, a mystery, a family saga, a quest novel and an homage to one of Malone's enduring passions: the movies.

A native of North Carolina, Malone has spent most of his life in other parts of the country, but is now back in the Durham area, where his wife, a Renaissance scholar, is head of the Duke University English Department.

There, he is part of a community of writers that includes Reynolds Price, Lee Smith and Alan Gurganus, and Malone shared stories about them, and his thoughts about the distinctiveness of the South and its storytellers.

Listen to this episode

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Music and Mysticism

This Sunday, Cover to Cover presents a special hour-long show featuring poet and Rumi translator Coleman Barks. Barks, a recent inductee into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, is interviewed by Jeff Calder, and had this to say about his subject:

Coleman Barks is one of the most popular literary figures to emerge from the South in recent decades. In person, he is gentle and accommodating, not at all fearsome until he draws himself up to recite a poem. Then everything gets extra real in the manner of 800 BC. The great seductive power of his voice—fully evident in the interview this Sunday, August 9—seems to put the listener in touch with the time when language first began to express complex psychological states.

Coleman has achieved an international profile as an interpreter of Rumi; his many translations of the Sufi poet have sold over a half-million copies worldwide.
He has written a half-dozen books of his own poetry, selections of which have recently been published under the title Winter Sky by the University of Georgia Press. He runs Maypop Books, a publishing company based in Athens, Georgia. He’s taken part in two hour-long PBS specials with Bill Moyers.

Coleman has appeared on an astonishing variety of recordings, reciting his own poetry and Rumi’s against backgrounds of mandolins and oboes from the West, sitars and tablas from the East. 2008 marked the release of The Here and The Gone, his third collaboration with Tuatara, the world music combo featuring Peter Buck of R.E.M. A variety of these songs can be heard throughout this hour-long interview.

In 2006, Coleman Barks received an Honorary Doctorate in Persian Language and Literature from the University of Tehran. He taught at the University of Georgia for 30 years and has since retired as Professor Emeritus.

Listen to this episode