The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook and Wiley’s Championship BBQ

The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook and Wiley’s Championship BBQ: Secrets That Old Men Take to the Grave Amy Paige Condon   On L2L: November 10, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Books Nationally recognized and locally adored for its homespun desserts and rustic breads, Back in the Day Bakery is a Savannah landmark. As Paula Deen says in her foreword, Cheryl and Griff Day “bake decadent treats, but they also bake wonderful memories that stay with you forever.” This cookbook, which celebrates the bakery’s tenth anniversary, is packed with Cheryl and Griff’s baking know-how and filled with recipes of customers’ favorites, including Buttermilk Biscones, Old-Fashioned Cupcakes, Chocolate Bread, Cinnamon Sticky Buns, S’more Pie, Almond Crunchies, Drunk Blondies, Pinkies Chocolate Lunch-Box Treats, Rustic Cheddar Pecan Rounds, and more. Full-color photographs of food and behind-the-scenes bakery shots give readers a glimpse into the daily life at the bakeshop. Celebrating family traditions, scratch baking, and quality ingredients, The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook is like a down-home bake sale in a book. Wiley McCrary has spent more than thirty years preaching the gospel of the Church of the Holy Smoke. As a dedicated evangelist of the…

Naguib Mahfouz and ‘The Dreams’

Naguib Mahfouz and The Dreams Raymond Stock   On L2L: November 3, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About Naguib Mahfouz and The Dreams Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988. He was the first Arab writer to be recognized with this award. Born in Cairo 1911 and age 94 upon his death in 2006, Mahfouz was prolific during his lifetime — writing 34 novels, several hundred short stories, and even films and plays. In 1994, however, Mahfouz was attacked by a religious extremist. This stabbing, along with other health issues, lead to a four-year hiatus from writing — something anathema to Mahfouz. Out of this tragedy, however, came a collection of short passages known as The Dreams. In this episode of Listening to Literature, we continue our conversation with Dr. Raymond Stock, a scholar who knew Mahfouz both professionally and personally and who has translated The Dreams and many of Mahfouz’s works from their original Arabic. This is the second part of a two-part episode featuring Dr. Stock. The first episode can be heard here. About Raymond Stock Raymond Stock, Ph.D., is an expert on Middle Eastern cultural and political affairs and…

Dunaway’s Crossing
Fiction , Health , History , Interviews , Savannah , Utrinque Paratus / October 27, 2017

Dunaway’s Crossing Nancy Brandon   On L2L: October 27, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the 1918–1919 Influenza Pandemic Ninety-nine years ago, populations across the globe faced a great foe—influenza. During the pandemic, which started in spring 1918 and continued into the following year, nearly one-third of the world’s population had been infected. By the end, it is estimated that the virus had taken the lives of nearly 20 million to 50 million people. The pandemic came in three waves—the worst of which occurred in October of 1918. It has been called “the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history” (Billings 2005: ¶1). Nearly a century has past, but it is not to be forgotten. In Washington this month, for example, the World Bank hosted a pandemic simulation, attempting to prepare global leaders in multiple sectors for the possibility of a new epidemic—perhaps a strain of the flu, perhaps some other illness—but something which experts say will come “[p]robably sooner than we expect” (Sun 2017: ¶5). And public health professionals and other leaders have urged a commitment to global health and the need for planning and preparations. About the Book Bea Dot Ferguson has a life many…

Conrad Aiken and “A Letter From Li Po”

Conrad Aiken and “A Letter From Li Po” Orlando Montoya   On L2L: October 20, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Event “Snow”: The Conrad Aiken Festival An evening of poetry and prose readings, words to inspire curious minds, and an ice cream social, all centered on the writer’s brilliant short story “Silent Snow, Secret Snow” Hosted by Orlando Montoya 7 p.m., Saturday, October 28, 2017 Unitarian-Universalist Church of Savannah 311 E Harris St, Savannah, GA 31401 (Troup Square, Habersham and Macon streets) For more information: http://www.uusavannah.org/ About Conrad Aiken In 1889, writer Conrad Aiken was born in Savannah. During his lifetime, he became known as a poet, playwright, essayist, and novelist. Scholar Jay Martin, in a 1962 book titled Conrad Aiken: A Life of His Art, calls Aiken “one of the most prolific of modern American writers” (Martin 1962: 3). Aiken’s first book was published in 1914, and he later served as a Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress — a position we now call the U.S. Poet Laureate — and earned honors such as the Bollingen Prize in Poetry, the Gold Medal in Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a…

Naguib Mahfouz, Egypt, and the Art of Translation

Naguib Mahfouz, Egypt, and the Art of Translation Raymond Stock   On L2L: October 13, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About Naguib Mahfouz Twenty-nine years ago today, on October 13, 1988, Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was the first Arab writer to be recognized with this award. Born in Cairo 1911 and age 94 upon his death in 2006, Mahfouz was prolific during his lifetime — writing 34 novels, several hundred short stories, and even films and plays. His works are both inherently Egyptian — set in specific time periods and places in the country’s long history — and universally concerned with the plight and meaning of human existence. One of his most well-known works — now known as The Cairo Trilogy — depicts three generations of a merchant-class Muslim family during the first half of the twentieth century, and chronicles the political changes in Egypt during this time period while focusing on the everyday experiences and inherent moral tensions of his character’s individual lives. In this way, Mahfouz was a quintessentially twentieth-century writer and observer of modernity, akin to Proust. But his body of work goes beyond The Cairo Trilogy…

This Ain’t No Holiday Inn

This Ain’t No Holiday Inn: Down and Out at the Chelsea Hotel 1980–1995 James Lough   On L2L: October 6, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Book During its heyday, the Chelsea Hotel in New York City was a home and safe haven for Bohemian artists, poets, and musicians such as Bob Dylan, Gregory Corso, Alan Ginsberg, Janis Joplin, and Dee Dee Ramone. This oral history of the famed hotel peers behind the iconic façade and delves into the mayhem, madness, and brilliance that stemmed from the hotel in the 1980s and 1990s. Providing a window into the late Bohemia of New York during that time, countless interviews and firsthand accounts adorn this social history of one of the most celebrated and culturally significant landmarks in New York City. About the Author James Lough, Ph.D., is a professor of writing at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and is the former director of SCAD’s creative writing program. He also is the recipient of the Frank Waters Southwestern Writing Award for short fiction. In addition to This Ain’t No Holiday Inn: Down and Out at the Chelsea Hotel 1980–1995, he is the co-editor of Sites of…

Three Dashes Bitters
Fiction , Interviews , Philosophy , Utrinque Paratus / September 29, 2017

Three Dashes Bitters Jack Simmons   On L2L: September 29, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Book When Tim Schmidt returns to New Orleans to attend his sister’s debutante ball, he finds that nothing has changed during his three-year hiatus in the orderly sanctuary of Boston. He is still in love with Jane, a hard-drinking iconoclast, too well bred to join the ranks of the Generation X slackers, yet unable to accept the standards of her high society upbringing. Happily, it seems Jane might still harbor feelings for him. But over drinks at The Columns Hotel, things get messy, and Tim’s grand return to the city of his birth soon unravels—the very sort of thing that inspired Tim to leave NOLA in the first place. With only twenty-four hours to figure out what to do (which has never been Tim’s forte), this former philosophy student finds unsolicited advice from members of a new leisure class. There is Milton, Tim’s college roommate turned Marxist revolutionary, a Falstaffian gent bent on overthrowing the government. Two young Arizona “brothers from another mother.” A disillusioned German exchange student who has abandoned the study of physics for the French Quarter social…

If Your Dream Doesn’t Scare You, It Isn’t Big Enough
Interviews , Nonfiction , Travel , Utrinque Paratus / September 22, 2017

If Your Dream Doesn’t Scare You, It Isn’t Big Enough: A Solo Journey Around the World Kristine K. Stevens   On L2L: September 22, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Book In honor of her 40th birthday, Kristine K. Stevens sold her house, quit her job, and traveled solo around the world. Carrying a backpack and the naïve belief that the trip was nothing more than a six-month-long vacation, she hit the road. As her journey moved on and off the beaten tourist path, she braved a monsoon in Zanzibar, a safari in Kenya, trekking in Nepal, kayaking in Thailand, caves in Laos, red plaid fish and lava in Hawaii, and grizzly bears in Alaska. Told with wonder, humor, and suspense, with historical facts woven into the tale, If Your Dream Doesn’t Scare You, It Isn’t Big Enough captures the twisted, unpredictable nature of global travel. About the Author Kristine K. Stevens lives in Savannah with her husband Gene. She spends most of her time asking questions about life, keeping her husband on his toes, racking up travel miles, romancing her honeybees, and writing her second book, a memoir based in Iceland.

Landlocked
Interviews , Nonfiction , Poetry , Utrinque Paratus / September 15, 2017

Landlocked: Etymology of Whale-Fish and Grace Danèlle Lejeune   On L2L: September 15, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Book What is the power of poetry? Where does poetry fit in our everyday lives? It must be important, since the United States has a poet laureate (though how many people know who the current one is?). Like the poet laureate whose role is “to raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry” (Library of Congress, n.d., ¶1), Danèlle Lejeune’s début collection of poetry offers readers modern and moving topics within different forms of poetry. Part memoir, it is divided into three sections: “Becoming a Skinwalker Is a Curse,” “Every Breaking Wave,” and “Dead Reckoning.” Part I is, in many ways, hopeful: idyllic but realistic. Part II allows readers to experience life’s vicissitudes and the bobbing on waves that often come as we grow and mature. Part III explores the concept of being lost—and, while lost, perhaps also finding ourselves through life’s journey. Many of the poems touch upon the author’s background as a farmer, though they are not rustically “sticky sweet.” Rather, nature is depicted as its own character,…

From “N-Word” to Mr. Mayor

From “N-Word” to Mr. Mayor: Experiencing the American Dream Otis S. Johnson   On L2L: September 8, 2017 (click to listen to the episode)   About the Book The biographical book From “N-Word” to Mr. Mayor: Experiencing the American Dream is Dr. Otis S. Johnson’s firsthand account of his compelling journey experiencing the American Dream during Jim Crow to the 21st century. Dr. Johnson was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1942. It was his intent to use his life’s journey as an example of how people, especially of his generation, had to struggle with being called the “N word” all of their lives, no matter how much they achieved in society. While he decided to be politically correct with the title—a title that, like the author, is complex and multilayered—the contents in the book reflect his life as a black person living in the United States of America. The book documents his journey through the Jim Crow era, the civil rights movement, affirmative action, becoming mayor of Savannah, and experiencing the positives and negatives of being black during President Barack Obama’s terms in office. About the Author Many know Otis Samuel Johnson, Ph.D., as the sixty-fourth mayor of Savannah. After serving…