2006 Season

2006 Season

Will Blythe               
To Hate Like This is to be Happy Forever
The basketball rivalry between Duke and North Carolina is the fiercest blood feud in college athletics. To legions of otherwise reasonable adults, it is a conflict that surpasses sports; it is locals against outsiders, elitists against populists, even good against evil. It is thousands of grown men and women with jobs and families screaming themselves hoarse at eighteen-year-old basketball geniuses, trading conspiracy theories in online chat rooms, and weeping like babies when their teams—when they —lose. In North Carolina, where both schools are located, the rivalry may be a way of aligning oneself with larger philosophic ideals—of choosing teams in life—a tradition of partisanship that reveals the pleasures and even the necessity of hatred.

What makes people invest their identities in what is elsewhere seen as "just a game"? What made North Carolina senator John Edwards risk alienating voters by telling a reporter, "I hate Duke basketball"? What makes people care so much? In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, author William Blythe explains that the answers have to do with class and culture in the South, and in his new book, To Hate Like This is to be Happy Forever: A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting, and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry, he expands on the history of this epic grudge through an examination of family, loyalty, privilege, and truly Southern manners. Blythe, the former longtime literary editor of Esquire and a lifelong Tar Heel fan, immerses himself in the lives of the two teams, eavesdropping on practice sessions, hanging with players, observing the arcane rituals of fans, and struggling to establish some basic human kinship with Duke's players and proponents. With Blythe's access to the coaches, the stars, and the bit players, Blythe shares how his latest work is both a chronicle of personal obsession and a picaresque record of social history.

John Hart                 
King of Lies
John Hart's stunning debut, King of Lies is a complex mystery thriller. Hart's protagonist, Jackson Workman Pickens, whom most people call "Work," is a struggling North Carolina criminal defense attorney. Work has wrestled with inner demons for most of his life, especially after the death of his mother and the disappearance of his wealthy father, Ezra Pickens, a highly successful lawyer who took him into his practice. When Work Pickens finds his father murdered, the investigation pushes a repressed family history to the surface and he sees his own carefully constructed facade begin to crack.

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, John Hart explains how he created a literary thriller that is as suspenseful as it is poignant—a riveting murder mystery layered beneath the southern drawl of a humble North Carolina lawyer. The Durham native who grew up in Salisbury, shares his mastery of prose and plot that belie his newcomer status. An illuminating anatomy of a murder and the ripple effect it produces within a family and a community, The King of Lies is a stunning debut, and now New York Times Bestseller, revealed in this one-on-one interview with the first-time author.

Sarah Dessen
Just Listen
New York Times Bestselling author Sarah Dessen returns with Just Listen , a multi-layered, impossible to put down book that perfectly depicts Annabel, a teenager dealing with the hardest year of her life. Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything"—at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf 's Department Store.This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong—tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, Sarah Dessen shares this story of a year in the life of a family coming to terms with the imperfections beneath its perfect facade. During this special interview, the Chapel Hill native and University of North Carolina graduate reveals her unique perspective on the world of fiction for young adults and the local experiences that helped shape her latest best-selling work.

Kristin Henderson     Henderson
While They’re at War: The True Story of American Families on the Homefront
There is a war story most Americans never hear. It is the story of what life is like for the women and men who are married to the military when a loved one is deployed. Most have seen the tearful goodbyes and the joyful homecomings occasionally caught on camera, but the rest of the homefront experience has been hidden behind closed doors, until now. In While They're at War: The True Story of American Families on the Homefront , author Kristin Henderson exposes the often-difficult aspects of military culture on and off America's bases.

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, Henderson, a military wife herself, reveals how her new book focuses on two very different women at Fort Bragg who are facing their husbands' first deployments. The author shares scenes from the lives of these women and illuminates the overwhelming costs of being married to the military—anticipatory grief; strongly enforced rules concerning infidelity; isolation and alienation from non-deployed military officers and the civilian world; the effects of e-mail, cell phone, and CNN culture; homecoming violence; and much more. The author also discusses her powerful chapters on casualty notification, the challenges military children present to schools, and the complexity of reunions after deployment.

David Payne             
Back to Wando Passo
David Payne has been hailed as "the most gifted American novelist of his generation" ( Boston Globe ) and has been likened to "Pat Conroy or perhaps a Southern John Irving" ( Winston-Salem Journal ). Now, in his new novel, Back to Wando Passo , Payne introduces us to Ransom Hill, lead singer of a legendary-but-now-defunct indie rock group who has come to South Carolina to turn over a new leaf. A bighearted artist and a bit of a wild man, Ran knows that his wife Claire's patience with him hangs by a frayed thread. After a five-month separation, he's come south from New York City to rejoin her and their two young children at Wando Passo, Claire's inherited family estate, determined to save his marriage, his family, and himself.

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, the Payne shares his fast-paced adventure story filled with lyrical writing, wicked humor, and unforgettable characters. The Henderson, NC, native reveals how Back to Wando Passo propels its two love stories, linked by place through time, to a simultaneous crescendo of betrayal, revenge, and redemption, that asks whether the present is doomed to ceaselessly repeat the past— or if it can sometimes change and redeem it.

John Hope Franklin        
Mirror to America
At ninety years old, John Hope Franklin remains one of the most admired, influential and relevant historians in the world. Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin is not only a unique and invaluable historical document, but a testament to the courage and determination of one American who throughout the twentieth century and in the twenty-first—from the first petition he was selected to deliver to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to his appointment as chair of President Clinton's taskforce (to say nothing of his writing and scholarship)—has helped redirect the social and political course of our nation.

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, John Hope Franklin shares his personal legacy and the book that Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Severus Lewis has called “a great historian's autobiography that will serve as an indispensable history of our times.”

Leah Stewart
The Myth of You and Me
When Cameron was fifteen, Sonia was her best friend---no one could come between them. Now Cameron is a twenty-nine-year-old research assistant with no meaningful ties to anyone except her aging boss, noted historian Oliver Doucet.When an unexpected letter arrives from Sonia ten years after the incident that ended their friendship, Cameron doesn't reply, despite Oliver's urging. But then he passes away, and Cameron discovers that he has left her with one final task: to track down Sonia and hand-deliver a mysterious package to her. Now without a job, a home, and a purpose, Cameron decides to honor his request, setting off on the road to find this stranger who was once her inseparable other half.

Leah Stewart's The Myth of You and Me, the story of Cameron and Sonia's friendship—as intense as any love affair—and its dramatic demise, captures the universal sense of loss and nostalgia that often lingers after the end of an important relationship. In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch , the Chapel Hill author shares how her searingly honest new novel is a celebration and portrait of a friendship that will appeal to anyone who still feels the absence of that first true friend.

Andrew Britton Britton         
The American
With a mix of his own military knowledge and vivid creativity, Andrew Britton sets his new novel The American in contemporary times, introducing readers to 33-year-old Ryan Kealy, a man who has achieved more in his military and CIA career than most men can dream of in a lifetime, but who has also seen the worst life has to offer and is lucky to have survived it. Now, living on the coast of Maine, Ryan wants nothing more than to be left to his sporadic teaching and his demons. However, he is soon brought out of retirement when a complicated terrorist plot to assassinate the U.S., French, and Italian presidents by Al-Qaeda, Iranian terrorists, and even Americans out to destroy their own country, is uncovered.

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, Britton discusses his exciting debut, written at age 21 and crafted in the tradition of the masters—Ludlum, Forsyth, Clancy, Higgins, le Carre—but with a completely contemporary, post-9/11 sensibility. With his first novel published at age 24, this University of North Carolina graduate shares how he hopes to make his mark over the coming decades—shaping the future of contemporary thrillers.

Allan Gurganus      
New Stories from the South
In the third decade of the New Stories from the South series—the book welcomes a new editor—Allan Gurganus. In this latest collection, Gurganus combed through hundreds of short stories written in 2005 to assemble a muscular array of talent, twenty stories ranging from low-down, high-octane farce to dark, erotic suspense.

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, Gurganus spotlights many of the stories from this year's volume that combines seasoned writers like Tony Earley, Wendell Berry, and George Singleton with gifted newcomers, including Keith Lee Morris, Erin Brooks Worley and J. D. Chapman. Their stories range from a communal love poem for a hunting dog, to a tale of a newly rich retiree trying to micromanage a Hollywood movie and losing his trophy wife to each new young screenwriter, to a harrowing work about a Virginia slave-woman burned alive for witchcraft and many are shared in this special one-on-one interview.

Tom Carlson
Hatteras Blues
When young Ernal Foster spent his life savings to build a juniper-hulled sportfishing boat in 1937, he gave birth to what would become the multimillion-dollar charter fishing industry on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Today, Ernal's son, Captain Ernie Foster, struggles to keep the family business alive in a time of great change on the Outer Banks. Hatteras Blues is their story—a story of triumph and loss, of sturdy Calvinist values and pell-mell American progress, and of fate and luck as capricious as the weather.

Within the engaging saga of the rise and decline of one family's livelihood, Tom Carlson relates the high-adrenaline experience of blue-water sportfishing and the precarious early development of Hatteras Village in the heart of "Hurricane Alley."

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, author Tom Carlson shares how, in recording this truly North Carolina story, the author unexpectedly found himself becoming part of it. Struggling to come to terms with the illness and death of his wife to a degenerative disease, Carlson learns a lesson from the Fosters—and the townspeople—in how to prepare for absence and loss, and then how to grieve with some measure of grace and dignity.

Bill Smith                  
Seasoned in the South: Recipes from Crook's Corner and from Home
For more than a decade now, Bill Smith has presided over the kitchen at Crook's Corner, bringing his instinctive and creative approach to cooking to an ever-growing, always enthusiastic crowd who have come to associate dining at Crook's with good company, great food, and a belief that every meal is a reason for celebration. Bill Smith's recipes are marvelously uncomplicated:  Tomato and Watermelon Salad, Fried Green Tomatoes with Corn and Mustard Butter Sauce, Cold Stuffed Pork Loin with an Artichoke Spread, Scallops with Spinach and Hominy, Really Good Banana Pudding, and Honeysuckle Sorbet. Structured around the seasons and inspired by the abundant local produce, these recipes not only reinvent classics of Southern culinary tradition, but offer up imaginative interpretations of bistro fare.

Seasoned in the South captures the flavors of the freshest seasonal foods and the spirit of one of the South's liveliest and most innovative kitchens. In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, Smith shares the traditional and classic Southern fare that has marked the seasoned chef's unique style throughout his culinary career.

William Leuchtenburg
The White House Looks South: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson
Perhaps not southerners in the usual sense, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Lyndon B. Johnson each demonstrated a political style and philosophy that helped them influence the South and unite the country in ways that few other presidents have. Their intimate associations with the South gave these three presidents an empathy toward and acceptance in the region. In urging southerners to jettison outworn folkways, Roosevelt could speak as a neighbor and adopted son, Truman as a border-stater who had been taught to revere the Lost Cause, and Johnson as a native who had been scorned by Yankees.

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, author and master historian William E. Leuchtenburg combines the vivid biography and political insight of his engrossing study The White House Looks South to offer an engaging account of relations between these three presidents and the South, while also tracing how the region came to embrace a national perspective without losing its distinctive sense of place. The William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of more than a dozen books on twentieth-century American history explores in fascinating detail how each President's unique attachment to "place" helped them to adopt shifting identities, which proved useful in healing rifts between North and South, in altering behavior in regard to race, and in fostering southern economic growth.

Dot Jackson            
Refuge: A Novel
In Refuge , a young Charleston society matron named Mary Seneca Steele goes to bed while considering what to wear for her suicide. Now, suddenly seized by an otherworldly fiddle tune playing in her head, she arises, steals her children and her husband's new Auburn Phaeton, and sets out on a journey of enlightenment in the year 1929, which begins with learning to drive. Before she makes this impetuous exit from the proper South, Mary Sen's worst transgression has been going out in public without her hat. But there will be no returning to her old life once she abandons it.

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, author Dot Jackson discusses Mary Sen's great escape, along with its guilt and raptures, and in the process, the former prize-winning reporter at the Charlotte Observer shares her debut novel's story of hard-won redemption.

Art Chansky              Chansky
Blue Blood: Duke-Carolina: Inside the Most Storied Rivalry in College Hoops
For fifty years, the rivalry between Duke and Carolina has featured famous brawls, endless controversy, long-nurtured hatred—and some of the best basketball ever played in the history of the sport. The Duke-Carolina rivalry has fostered more than thirty former players from the two schools playing or coaching in the NBA; it has cultivated a maniacal subculture of fans who camp out for weeks just to get tickets to the seasonal matchups; it has enchanted a nation of spectators to watch games between the archrivals, garnering some of the highest regular-season TV ratings in history. Art Chansky's Blue Blood : Duke-Carolina: Inside the Most Storied Rivalry in College Hoops is a chronicle of the Duke-Carolina fight as it has evolved over the last fifty years— celebrateing the history of this rivalry, the traditions, the heritage, and, most importantly—the spectacular basketball.

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, veteran journalist and author Art Chansky details the colorful, revered, and respected rivalry. Chansky has seen every Duke-Carolina game since 1968 and now gives audiences the never-before-told story behind the story of a sporting challenge that has polarized the nation.

Mark Ethridge
For more than twenty years, the murder of a thirteen-year-old boy during racial unrest in rural South Carolina has gone unpunished, unsolved, even uninvestigated. But that changes when Charlotte Times reporter Matt Harper sits down with a fellow who shows up in the newsroom—a guy with a grievance.

As he struggles with his journalistic legacy, Harper comes to understand why the investigation must be pursued and why he must be the one to do it—despite the opposition of his publisher, violent threats from mysterious forces that do not want the story told, and his father's ill health.

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, Charlotte resident and former Charlotte Observer reporter Mark Ethriddge shares his new novel Grievances —a story of newspapers, murder, and redemption— set in the rich scenery of a Savannah River town that time and justice have forgotten.

Paul Leonard
Music of a Thousand Hammers: Inside Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity International focuses on two goals. The first is to build as many houses as it can, using the principles of sweat equity, no interest, no-profit, volunteer-driven construction- one house, one family at a time-in every corner of the world. Today, Habitat is completing a house somewhere in the world every 26 minutes (20,000 per year). Habitat also attempts to make housing a matter of conscience everywhere. Habitat wants everyone to understand that it is morally and socially unacceptable for any human being not to have a simple, decent place to sleep at night. Yet, all is not well in the Habitat household. In late 2004, Habitat’s founder Millard Fuller was forced out of his job by the board of directors of the Christian homebuilding ministry. The announcement that Fuller was stepping down came near the end of a tumultuous year for Fuller and the Americus, Georgia-based organization that he co-founded in 1976 with his wife, Linda. The year included allegations against Fuller by a female employee of inappropriate behavior and a struggle concerning the organization’s future. The shakeout, now apparently complete, could affect Habitat for years.

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, former Habitat for Humanity CEO Paul Leonard shares his book Music of a Thousand Hammers: Inside Habitat for Humanity. Part memoir, part history of Habitat, and part expose, the Davidson University graduate ’s work provides a glimpse into the shattered world of an organization built on a solid foundation of trust.

Angela Davis-Gardner
Plum Wine
Angela Davis-Gardner's novel Plum Wine features Barbara Jefferson, a young American teaching in Tokyo in the 1960s, is set on a life-changing quest when her Japanese surrogate mother, Michi, dies, leaving her a tansu of homemade plum wines wrapped in rice paper. Within the papers Barbara discovers writings in Japanese calligraphy that comprise a startling personal narrative. With the help of her translator, Seiji Okada, Barbara begins to unravel the mysteries of Michi's life, a story that begins in the early twentieth century and continues through World War II and its aftermath. As Barbara and Seiji translate the plum wine papers they form an intimate bond, with Michi a ghostly third in what becomes an increasingly uneasy triangle. Barbara is deeply affected by the revelation that Michi and Seiji are hibakusha, survivors of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, and even harder for her to understand are the devastating psychological effects wrought by war.

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, author and North Carolina State University professor Angela Davis-Gardner examines the human relationships, cultural differences, and the irreparable consequences of war that runs deep in Plum Wine 's original and timeless tale.

Pat Taylor
Fourth Down and Goal To Go
Part history and part autobiography, Fourth Down and Goal To Go is the humorous and telling narrative by North Carolina native Pat Taylor. A popular local storyteller, Taylor has recorded his life in the Old North State through tales that stretch back as far as the Great Depression.

Incorporating Southern humor and wit, Taylor’s accounts will spark laughter and recognition among any reader who grew up in the American South during the past seventy-five years. Reminiscing to a time when life was simpler, he elaborates on everyday details such as telephone party lines, ice wagons and milk delivery services. Still active in politics, law and academics, Taylor believes that studying our history is the key to a successful future.

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, Taylor expounds on the events that have shaped North Carolina into the state it is today. Commenting on parts of North Carolina history, he successfully explains the present economic, political and social atmosphere of the region found in his must-read for any native North Carolinian or Southern historian.

Lee Smith
On Agate Hill
It is 1872, Agate Hill, North Carolina. On her thirteenth birthday, Molly Petree peeps out the chink of a window from her secret hiding place up in the eaves of a tumbledown old plantation house to survey a world gone wild, all expectations overthrown, all order gone. “I know I am a spitfire and a burden,” she begins her diary. “I do not care. My family is a dead family, and this is not my home, for I am a refugee girl…but evil or good I will write it all down every true thing in black and white upon the page, for evil or good it is my own true life and I WILL have it. I will.” Carefully she places the diary in her treasured “box of phenomena” which will contain “letters, poems, songs, court records, marbles, rocks, dolls, and a large collection of bones, some human and some not” by the time it is found during a historic renovation project in 2003.

The contents of Molly’s box make up this extraordinary novel which chronicles her passionate, picaresque journey across” the whole curve of the earth” -through love, betrayal, motherhood, a murder trial---and finally back to Agate Hill to end her days under circumstances that even she could never have imagined.

In this episode of North Carolina Bookwatch, literary legend Lee Smith shares her eagerly-anticipated 12th novel On Agate Hill, the story of a self-described "ghost girl" who survives the Civil War devastation that claims her family.

Charles Frazier
Thirteen Moons
Like North Carolinian Charles Frazier’s memorable first novel, Cold Mountain-a romantic epic detailing a Civil War deserter’s homeward odyssey that won the 1997 National Book Award and inspired a haunting 2003 feature film- Frazier’s long-awaited second novel, Thirteen Moons is the story of one man’s remarkable life, spanning a century of relentless change. At the age of twelve, an orphan named Will Cooper is given a horse, a key, and a map and is sent on a journey through the wilderness to the edge of the Cherokee Nation, the uncharted white space on the map. Will is a bound boy, obliged to run a remote Indian trading post. As he fulfills his lonesome duty, Will finds a father in Bear, a Cherokee chief, and is adopted by him and his people, developing relationships that ultimately forge Will’s character. All the while, his love of Claire, the enigmatic and captivating charge of volatile and powerful Featherstone, will forever rule Will’s heart.

In this episode of UNC-TV’s local literary series North Carolina Bookwatch, Frazier shares his all-new story in which a rootless and restless protagonist, like Cold Mountain’s embattled hero, Inman, expends the energies of a long lifetime seeking permanent reunion with the only woman he’ll ever love.