Three Generations, No Imbeciles

Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court and Buck v. Bell Paul A. Lombardo On L2L: December 8, 2017 (click to listen to the episode) About the Book “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Few lines from Supreme Court opinions are as memorable as this declaration by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. in the landmark 1927 case Buck v. Bell. The ruling allowed states to forcibly sterilize residents in order to prevent “feebleminded and socially inadequate” people from having children. It is the only time the Supreme Court endorsed surgery as a tool of government policy. Though Buck set the stage for more than sixty thousand involuntary sterilizations in the United States and was cited at the Nuremberg trials in defense of Nazi sterilization experiments, it has never been overturned. Three Generations, No Imbeciles tracks the notorious case through its history, revealing that it remains a potent symbol of government control of reproduction and a troubling precedent for the human genome era. The 2009 winner of the Georgia Author of the Year Award for Creative Nonfiction History, Paul Lombardo’s startling narrative paints a different picture of Carrie Buck, the young woman from Virginia whose difficult life and family history…

Holiday Gift Ideas

Holiday Gift Ideas A Selection of Books, New and Old, From a Variety of Publishers On L2L: December 1, 2017 (click to listen to the episode) About the Episode With the holiday season upon us, this week’s episode of Listening to Literature examines some new books, and some old books, that could make good gifts for the book lover in your life. The holidays, though, don’t have to mean buying something from a store. Sharing your favorite work of literature with others or asking someone what he or she has read recently can open undiscovered avenues with family members or an old friend or can start conversations that lead to new friends. This episode features synopses of recent books from a variety of genres as well as excerpts of some classics, including Marcel Proust’s À la Recherche du Temps Perdu (aka In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past), the poetry of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “Landor’s Cottage.” Correction Ronald Keith Gaddie is a co-author of the book The Three Governors Controversy: Skullduggery, Machinations, and the Decline of Georgia’s Progressive Politics, along with Charles S. Bullock III and Scott E. Buchanan. Dr. Gaddie’s last name…

Good Karma
Fiction , Interviews , Savannah , Utrinque Paratus / November 24, 2017

Good Karma Christina Kelly On L2L: November 24, 2017 (click to listen to the episode) About the Book Good Karma tells the story of New Jersey residents, Catherine and Ralph, who, with their Boston terrier named Karma, retire to a gated island community in Savannah. What seems like a safe environment is anything but, as Seven Oaks is inhabited by quirky characters, love that’s fizzled, new temptations, and even an alligator named Mr. Peabody. Although Catherine hopes to finally reconnect with her husband now that the diehard workaholic has retired, Ralph has other ideas. He’s always busy, from early morning tee times to late nights with his poker buddies. Then there’s his cozy relationship with their real estate agent, which might be crossing the line between professional and personal. Left to her own devices in this unfamiliar place—and the changing bodies and new challenges that come with getting older—Catherine forges an unlikely bond with an enigmatic thirtysomething divorcée, and she befriends a dashing widower at the dog park. Like their canine companions, Catherine and Fred hit it off instantly. But as they grow closer, Catherine learns that this seemingly ideal man might be too good to be true. With her…

Pulling at a Thread

Pulling at a Thread Tony Morris On L2L: November 17, 2017 (click to listen to the episode) About the Book Dr. Tony Morris’s most recent book, Pulling at a Thread, is a poetry collection divided into four sections: “Back Roads,” “After the Long Season’s Run,” “The Joy of Madness Made,” and “Four Sonnets + One.” It was a finalist for both the 2014 Anhinga Poetry Prize and the Philip Levine Poetry Book Prize, and it has been called “a tour de force cross-country car trip through America,” with “a fullness and music that will lift you up.” “In Pulling at a Thread,” writes R. T. Smith, “Tony Morris demonstrates how following a single strand can reveal life’s patterns in their brilliant complexity.” About the Author Dr. Tony Morris is a poet and a professor of creative writing and English—although he didn’t initially set out to become an academician. Until his mid-thirties, Dr. Morris worked a series of odd jobs, including fixing bicycles, glazing windows, and selling encyclopedias, as well as ten years as a machine operator in a carbon paper factory. In 1992, however, he quit the factory job, started college, and found a life in journalism. He began writing…

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…