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News
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by Sharon Wu on May 03, 2016
Travel & Leisure published Lauret Savoy‘s essay “Untold Stories of the National Parks” in their June issue and online. Lauret is the author of Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape. Read the essay here.
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by Sharon Wu on May 03, 2016

Cara Benson of Bookslut interviewed Mary Rakow, author of This Is Why I Came: A Novel, as part of Bookslut’s final issue. Read the full interview here.

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by Sharon Wu on May 03, 2016
Classical89’s show “Thinking Aloud” profiled the renowned writer Liberty Hyde Bailey, author of The Holy Earth: Toward a New Environmental EthicListen to the full episode here.
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by Sharon Wu on May 03, 2016
Jewish Women International published a list of “13 Spring Reads,” which included Kim Brooks‘ novel The Houseguest: A Novel. See the full list here.
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by Sharon Wu on May 03, 2016
Role Reboot published the essay “My Chemical Romance” by Bernadette Murphy, author of Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life. Read the full article here.
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by Sharon Wu on May 03, 2016
Yona McDonough of Lilith Magazine interviewed Kim Brooks on her debut novel, The Houseguest: A NovelRead the full interview here.
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by Sharon Wu on May 03, 2016
The Nervous Breakdown shared an excerpt from Kim Brooks‘ debut novel The Houseguest: A Novel. Read the excerpt here.
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by Sharon Wu on May 03, 2016
The Nervous Breakdown published a self-interview with Kim Brooks, author of The Houseguest: A Novel. Read the self-interview here.
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by Sharon Wu on May 03, 2016
The Gazette interviewed Kim Brooks on her new historical fiction book The Houseguest: A Novel. Read the full interview here.
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by Sharon Wu on May 02, 2016

Bernadette Murphy is the author of Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life. We ask her five questions.

How did you become interested in riding motorcycles?

I took a class to learn to ride a motorcycle as research for a novel I was working on. I thought it would be cool if my main character, a young woman living in Los Angeles, got around town on a bike. I didn’t expect anything from the class other than to learn enough to write a compelling character experience. But I fell in love with the feeling of grace and strength and speed and nimbleness that came via the bike, and as a result, everything in my life changed.

What are you reading right now?

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Liar by Rob Roberge, and The History of Great Things by Elizabeth Crane.

What’s the one book that you recommend to people, over and over?

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.

Who are some of your writer mentors? Do you find that’s changed over time as you evolve as a writer or do they remain the same?

Early on, David L. Ulin, Leonard Chang, Bernard Cooper and Michelle Huneven were huge in-person mentors. John Steinbeck, Mary Karr, Joan Didion, David Foster Wallace, Mark Salzman and others were on-the-page mentors. More recently, I’m enthralled with the raw honesty of Emily Rapp and the dark, haunting short stories of Tara Ison, both of whom are mentors to me in many ways. I love that those who inspire me now are just as much in the flesh and in my life as on the page.

What is your most prized book possession? A first edition? A gift? Please describe. 

I have a first edition of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried that was given to me by one of my best writing friends years ago. It’s beat up and unsigned. I have long been enthralled with this work that blends the lines between fiction and nonfiction and that does what I aspire to do in my own work – to make a reader feel what the author feels, to describe viscerally what an experience is like. In a section of the book called “Good Form,” O’Brien explains the difference between “story truth” and “happening truth,” a distinction that serves me well as a writer of narrative nonfiction. Though fiction writers can go ahead and make up whole worlds, I’m limited by what actually happened. But just because something happened doesn’t make it compelling or interesting. I am always searching for the “story truth” with the “happening truth” to shape into narrative. This O’Brien first edition is that talisman that reminds me of that.

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by Sharon Wu on Apr 19, 2016
Meredith Maran of the Chicago Tribune raved about Kim Brooks‘ new historical novel The Houseguest: A Novel. Read the review here.
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by Sharon Wu on Apr 19, 2016
New Hampshire Public Radio’s show “Word of Mouth” interviewed Katherine Towler, author of The Penny Poet of Portsmouth: A Memoir of Place, Solitude, and Friendship. Listen to the full interview here.