Word pictures from two wars

May. 03, 2014 @ 10:54 AM

The first story in Katey Schultz’s new collection “Flashes of War” (Apprentice House, $16.95), is titled “While the Rest of America’s at the Mall.” In her afterword, Schultz traces the source of the title to a quote from a soldier that reporter Ben Anderson interviewed: “America’s not at war. America’s at the mall,” the soldier said.
Schultz immersed herself in reports and information, trying to understand the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rather than trying to tell the story through journalism, she chose fiction. “As someone inclined to make sense of the world through story, I knew my window into these wars would have to be narrative,” Schultz writes.
In very straightforward, spare prose, Schultz imagines these wars through the eyes of soldiers, civilians of various countries, and, through her narrative skill, brings us closer to a war from which most of us are greatly removed.
Schultz will read and sign copies of her story collection at 7 p.m. May 15 at The Regulator Bookshop, 720 Ninth St., Durham. 

Here are some other readings and events:
-- In Amy Rowland’s novel “The Transcriptionist” (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, $24.95), Lena is the longsuffering longtime transcriptionist of a large New York newspaper. One day as she is transcribing tapes and phone calls, she reads a story about a blind woman who climbs into the lions’ den at the Bronx Zoo and is mauled to death. She realizes she met this woman on a bus several days earlier, and begins a search to understand what led the woman to commit this act.
Rowland will read and sign copies of her novel at 11 a.m. May 17 at Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Chapel Hill.

-- Pittsboro poet and short story writer Ruth Moose won the 2013 Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition for her book “Doing It at the Dixie Dew” (Minotaur Books, $24.99). Beth McKenzie returns to her hometown to open a bed and breakfast named the Dixie Dew. After her first guest is murdered, she goes on a search to find out who committed the crime. Moose’s novel goes on sale Tuesday.

-- Chloe, an actress who is working in a chic Soho boutique, is sent to the basement to retrieve some stock in the opening chapter of Jeffery Deaver’s new Lincoln Rhyme novel “The Skin Collector” (Grand Central Publishing, $28). Chloe’s greatest fear is spiders and damp, but soon the spider webs are the least of her fears when she becomes the first victim of a man who stalks people and tattoos strange messages to their skin.
Deaver will read and sign copies of his new novel at 7 p.m. May 13 at Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill.

-- Evelyn Wicker will read and discuss her book “Voices: Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing, Durham, North Carolina, 1903,” at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Main Library, 300. N. Roxboro St.
“Voices” offers a complete picture of the Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing (1903-1977), which was one of three strong nursing schools for African-Americans in North Carolina, along with St. Agnes School of Nursing in Raleigh and Good Samaritan School of Nursing in Charlotte. The school developed and produced outstanding nurses who have been highly successful across the health care spectrum on local and international levels. A book signing will follow the reading and discussion.

-- Durham County Library will host “The Joy of Censorship,” a presentation by MAD Magazine’s senior editor Joe Raiola, at 7 p.m. Sunday at Motorco Music Hall, 723 Rigsbee Ave.
“The Joy of Censorship” is a critical satire on the First Amendment. It includes broad discussions on banned books, movie ratings, the Federal Communications Commission, Supreme Court decisions, religious freedom and the true meaning of obscenity. It also traces the history of MAD Magazine, including a slide presentation spotlighting many of MAD’s most controversial covers and articles.
A Q&A session will follow the presentation.
This program is co-sponsored by Regulator Bookshop, Motorco Music Hall and Durham Library Foundation, and is intended for adult audiences.

--Send notices of readings, releases and signings to cbellamy@heraldsun.com.