Unruled Paper

by Steve Mitchell

Sometimes Tragicomic Edition

Week of 11/9

Honey from the Lion by Matthew Neill NullLookout Books264 pagesA turn of the century logging company deep in the forests of the West Virginia Alleghenies is the setting of this lyrical novel. It’s a brutal story of industrialists and the workers who begin to fight back against what are essentially slave labor conditions by attempting to unionize. Throughout, Null shows a startling identification with the land, people and the sacrifices made by those in his native West Virginia.This book is something like John Sayles’ Matewan for the timber industryRead an excerpt.

After the Parade by Lori OstlundScribner352 pagesAaron Englund abandons his 20-year relationship to move to San Francisco and re-invent himself but, as it usually does, this proves to be not so easy. Eventually, he finds himself in the town where he was born, confronting the family and characters of his youth. This is a tragicomic novel about going home again and what you might find once you get there.Review here.

The Education of Kevin Powell by Kevin PowellAtria Books304 pagesA passionate and powerful companion to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, Education is a memoir about escaping poverty and what comes after for a young black man. As he becomes successful he must still struggle with a history of violence and self-hatred. Along the way, Powell remains willing to confront again and again what ‘manhood’ means.Here’s an excerpt.

Carolina Writers at Home Edited by Meg Reid Photos by Rob McDonaldHub City Press224 pagesHere’s your chance to peek inside the writing rooms of well-known Carolina writers from Allan Gurganus to Jill McCorkle, Michael Parker to Clyde Edgerton, 25 in all. Each provides essays about the places where they write accompanied by the evocative photographs of Rob McDonald. Churches to trailers, this book is a testament to the idiosyncracies of creative spaces.You can see some of the photos here.

Fates and Furies by Lauren GroffRiverhead Books400 pagesPassion, betrayal, vengeance, redemption: the keys to any happy marriage. Follow the threads of Lotto and Mathilde’s 24 year relationship as it weaves and uravels in all its complexity, drama, humor and revelation. He’s an actor turned playwright and she’s an art scholar. Alternately comic and emotionally devastating, it’s being praised as an ambitious, bravura performance by a new young writer.Review here. Events27 Views of Greensboro: the Gate City in Prose and PoetryAuthor Talk and SigningGreensboro Historical MuseumSaturday, November 14, 3pmJeri Rowe, Tina Firesheets, and Logie Meachum will be one hand to read from their stories in this collection and talk about their memories and experiences of Greensboro.Second Saturday at Tate Street Coffee/Open Mic followsWith Poets Debra Kaufman and Noel CrookTate Street Coffee, GreensboroSaturday, November 14, 7pmAn ongoing series sponsored by Women Writers of the Triad pairs two poets. After the reading, open mic erupts, as open mics are wont to do.Ta-Nehisi Coates Race in AmericaWait Chapel,Wake Forest UniversityTuesday, November 17 7pmI told you Ta-Nehisi was everywhere. Now he’s going to be at Wake Forest University as part of their Voices of Our Time series. Admission is free but you need to reserve tickets.Photographer Ken Abbott, Useful Work: Photographs of Hickory Nut Gap FarmScuppernong BooksMonday, November 30, 7pm

Once a busy stagecoach stop outside Asheville, Hickory Nut Gap Farm is now a thriving family farm. Mixing the history of the buildings and the land with the challenges and joys of contemporary farming, Abbott has produced a beautiful book of photographs.And, here’s what elementary school students in Germany do with their time: