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Kevin Powers

Kevin Powers, Sisters in Crime and more

Dear Gentle Reader,

A final call to action for this school year! We are looking for 16 sponsors to help us supply reading to rising third graders. To help Ready Readers, we are asking for $25 per sponsorship. The goal is to give every rising third grader in the Chatham County public school system a book of their own to take home over the summer. To help sponsor a classroom, please call the bookstore 919.542.3030.

On May 15th, National Book Award Finalist Kevin Powers joins us to read from his latest novel. The Boys from Carolina will be playing at Roost (our wood burning pizzeria and beer garden), and it is a lovely time of year to enjoy Fearrington.

Friday, May 11th at 10:30am
Friday Storytime
Today’s Theme: Families

Tuesday, May 15th at 10:30am
Storytime with Miss Sarah
Today’s theme: Feathered Friends

Thursday, May 17th at 4pm
Bookends Books Club discusses David Lodge’s classic novel, Small World

Friday, May 18th at 10:30am
Friday Storytime
Today’s Theme: Dinosaurs Roar

Friday, May 18th at 6:30pm
Kevin Powers discusses A Shout in the Ruins
Set in Virginia during the Civil War and a century beyond, this novel by the award-winning author of The Yellow Birds explores the brutal legacy of violence and exploitation in American society.

Spanning over one hundred years, from the antebellum era to the 1980’s, A Shout in the Ruins examines the fates of the inhabitants of Beauvais Plantation outside of Richmond, Virginia. When war arrives, the master of Beauvais, Anthony Levallios, foresees that dominion in a new America will be measured not in acres of tobacco under cultivation by his slaves, but in industry and capital. A grievously wounded Confederate veteran loses his grip on a world he no longer understands, and his daughter finds herself married to Levallois, an arrangement that feels little better than imprisonment. And two people enslaved at Beauvais plantation, Nurse and Rawls, overcome impossible odds to be together, only to find that the promise of coming freedom may not be something they will live to see.

Seamlessly interwoven is the story of George Seldom, a man orphaned by the storm of the Civil War, looking back from the 1950s on the void where his childhood ought to have been. Watching the government destroy his neighborhood to build a stretch of interstate highway through Richmond, he travels south in an attempt to recover his true origins. With the help of a young woman named Lottie, he goes in search of the place he once called home, all the while reckoning with the more than 90 years he lived as witness to so much that changed during the 20th century, and so much that didn’t. As we then watch Lottie grapple with life’s disappointments and joys in the 1980’s, now in her own middle-age, the questions remain: How do we live in a world built on the suffering of others? And can love exist in a place where for 400 years violence has been the strongest form of intimacy?

Written with the same emotional intensity, harrowing realism, and poetic precision that made The Yellow Birds one of the most celebrated novels of the past decade, A Shout in the Ruins cements Powers’ place in the forefront of American letters and demands that we reckon with the moral weight of our troubling history.

Kevin Powers is the author of The Yellow Birds, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and was a National Book Award Finalist, as well as Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting, a collection of poetry. He was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, and holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Michener Fellow in Poetry. He served in the US Army in 2004 and 2005 in Iraq, where he was deployed as a machine gunner in Mosul and Tal Afar.

Saturday, May 19 at 11am
Jenny Milchman braves Wicked River
Six million acres of Adirondack forest separate Natalie and Doug Larson from civilization. For the newlyweds, an isolated, back country honeymoon seems ideal: a chance to start their lives together with an adventure, on their own. But just as Natalie and Doug begin to explore the dark interiors of their own hearts, as well as the depths of their love for each other, it becomes clear that they are not alone in the woods.

Saturday, May 19th at 2pm
Norah Gaskin shares The Worst Thing
When Kellah Mace’s parents are killed in an accident—when Kellah is fifteen years old—she overhears someone say, “She’ll go through life knowing the worst thing has already happened.” Numb from loss and grief, Kellah takes these words to mean she need fear nothing. Only one thing can hurt her again: the loss of someone else she loves.

The Worst Thing begins with the intense friendship of Kellah and Angel, forged on the window ledge outside of their rooms at boarding school—and in the mirror during a hair-cut makeover.

Saturday, May 19th at 12:30pm
Special lunch with the authors
If you are coming to see Jenny Milchman and/or Norah Gaskin, you might want to join them for lunch.

Buy your lunch at the Belted Goat, next door to the bookstore, and join the authors in the room reserved for them. A great opportunity to chat with them on an informal basis and have a good lunch. Members of the crime writing group, Sisters in Crime, will be there, so it promises to be a lively discussion!


All the best from the usual suspects:

Pete, Sarah, Mouse, Billy, Johanna, Anna, Kelley, Hazel and Keebe