The end of print – in print

Apr. 19, 2014 @ 03:04 PM

“Without words, we’re history’s orphans. Our lives and thoughts erased,” writes Anana Johnson, the narrator of Alena Graedon’s debut novel “The Word Exchange” (Doubleday, $26.95).
In “The Word Exchange,” Anana’s father Doug Samuel Johnson disappears while editing the final edition of the “North American Dictionary of the English Language.” In Graedon’s world, the much-discussed death of print has finally happened. Anana’s father and a small group of compatriots have vehemently opposed the move away from print to devices. Anana, who works for her father as an editor and assistant, goes on a search to find her father.
Graedon was born in Durham and now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. She will read and sign copies of her novel at 7 p.m. Tuesday at The Regulator Bookshop, 720 Ninth St., Durham.

Here are some other readings and events:
-- Raleigh author Kim Church, known for her poetry and short stories, has published her first novel, “Byrd” (Dzanc Books, $14.95). Byrd is the name that Addie Lockwood gives to the son she gives up for adoption after an amorous reunion with school friend Roland. “Byrd” is a novel about coming of age in the 1970s, Joni Mitchell, bookstores, and coming to terms with one’s decisions.
Church will read and sign copies of “Byrd” at 7 p.m. Monday at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham.

-- There’s no question about the reality of global warming in Tania Unsworth’s novel “The One Safe Place” (Algonquin Young Readers, $15.95). Devin grows up after the effects of warming have become all too entrenched. He farms a piece of land with his grandfather in a drought-stricken world. When his grandfather dies, Devin walks to the city to find people to help him continue farming. He finds brief refuge in a home for children, only to find that this place is no sanctuary.
“The One Safe Place” hits bookstores Tuesday, and is recommended for middle-grade readers. For information, visit

-- N.C. Central University professors Rachelle Gold and Camille Passalacqua have received a National Endowment for the Humanities Enduring Questions Grant that will fund a class called "On Survival and Healing" for two years (four semesters).
Passalacqua will teach this class in the fall of 2014 (currently listed as ENG 4800 – Independent Study), and Gold will teach it in the spring.
Students will explore how men and women survive and heal after trauma, not just physically, but also psychologically and creatively, as seen through the eyes of writers through the ages. Assigned readings will include excerpts from Homer's “Odyssey,” Sophocles’ “Antigone,” Shakespeare's “Henry V,” “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,” along with literature of the Holocaust, Hiroshima, Argentina, Vietnam, and Rwandan genocide. 
For information about this course, visit

-- In Durham author Tracy Banghart’s young adult-science fiction novel “Shattered Veil” (Tracy Banghart Publishing, $15.99), war has come to Atalanta. Aris is a master pilot. When Calix, the man she has loved all her life, goes to war, she follows him, using technology that allows her to pass as a man in this novel that Banghart describes as “ ‘Mulan’ meets ‘Battlestar Galactica.’ ”
Banghart will read and sign copies of the book at 7:30 p.m. May 2 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in New Hope Commons in Durham.
Also at Barnes & Noble, Suzetta Perkins will read and sign copies of her new romance novel “Silver Bullets” (Strebor Books, $15) from noon to 3 p.m. May 24.

Send notices of readings and other events to