Author News and Book Reports

Rick Atkinson salutes Lucian K. Truscott and the men and women who liberated Italy
Sixty-five years ago, in May of 1944, the Allied forces began the final push north from Sicily to Rome and beyond, keeping the Axis forces on the defensive in Italy while Eisenhower planned the decisive Normandy invasion of June 6, 1944. Introducing the second volume in his Liberation Trilogy, The Day Of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (Holt Paperbacks; September, 2008) at the 2008 National Book Festival, Pulitzer Prize winning historian and Washington Post reporter Rick Atkinson compared the historical narrative form to the art of fiction storytelling and poetry. Infusing his historical analysis of the Allied forces strategy to invade Sicily in September of 1943 with stories of Allied heroes, such as Major General Lucian K. Truscott, Jr., and descriptions of historical debates on the historical significance of the invasion of Sicily and Italy in bringing WWII to an end, Atkinson wrapped his formal presentation with a reading from The Day Of Battle. Afterward, Atkinson took questions from the audience on 'Was It Worth It?', and whether there were better alternatives to the costly and bloody liberation of Italy.

Book and Author Headlines

Alexander McCall Smith takes unconventional approach to his 'traditionally built' novels: Bestselling author of No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series Alexander McCall Smith, wearing his trademark Scottish kilt, apologizes for the lack of action in his novels and promises more cake and tea to make everyone feel better.

Patrick McGrath offers dramatic reading of 'Trauma' at Miami Book Fair International: Patrick McGrath reads from his newest gothic novel 'Trauma' at the 2008 Miami Book Fair International.

Marisa de los Santos makes the leap from poetry to prose by way of motherhood: Marisa de los Santos describes her transitions in literature and life and her search for inspiration at the 2008 National Book Festival.

Small press authors, poets and storytellers find big audiences at book fairs: Small presses have their big moments at book fairs.

Cokie Roberts unveils the politcal prowess and power of the 'Founding Mothers': ABC News and National Public Radio reporter Cokie Roberts celebrates early American First Ladies at the National Book Festival, former First Lady Laura Bush's signature annual event in the National Mall.

Richard Price finds humor and colliding worlds in projects of NYC's Lower East Side: Fresh from his former day job writing for the late, great HBO series, 'The Wire,' Richard Price reads from 'Lush Life,' his first novel in five years and takes questions from the audience.

Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian report U.S. atrocities in Iraq, claiming 1.2 million casualties: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and co-author English Al Jazeera reporter Laila Al-Arian report on the 'collateral damage' in the war in Iraq.

Art Spiegelman and Daniel Pink discourse on the discourse of comics: Although he wants a DNA test before he accepts paternity, the 'father of graphic novels,' Art Spiegelman discourses with 'graphic business books' writer Daniel Pink on the language and art of graphic books as seen through the lens of Spiegelman's life and work.

Jane Mayer nominated for NBCC award for her book exposing 'The Dark Side' of U.S. torture policies: New Yorker correspondent Jane Mayer sheds light on 'the dark side' of the Bush Administration's war on terror.

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