BOOKS ROUNDUP: The women of the Manhattan Project

May. 11, 2013 @ 03:53 PM

Celia Szapka, Toni Peters and Virginia Spivey are among the many women who contributed their intellect and labor to the successful completion of The Manhattan Project that produced the atomic bomb.
In her book “The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women who Helped Win World War II” (Touchstone, $27), Denise Kiernan pays tribute to the women who worked as chemists, mathematicians, nurses and other top secret jobs in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Kiernan weaves together historical details to create a portrait of these women and their contributions, and also a sense of suspense.
Kiernan will read and sign copies of her book at noon Saturday at Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill.

Here are some other readings and recent releases:

-- Claudette Cohen of Carolina Beach is the winner of the 2013 Doris Betts Fiction Prize competition for her story “The Mayor of Biscoe.” Cohen will receive a prize of $250 from the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and her story will be published in the 2014 issue of the North Carolina Literary Review.
“Sakura” by Annie Frazier, “Mara’s Baby” by Donald Marple, and “Of Lions and Sparrows” by Seth Peavey also received honorable mention.
The annual Doris Betts Fiction Prize honors the late novelist and short story writer Doris Betts, and is sponsored by the nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network.

-- Chapel Hill author Karen Booth will celebrate the trade paperback release of her debut full-length novel “Bring Me Back,” from Turquoise Morning Press with two local book readings. Booth will be at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill on May 22 at 7:30 p.m. and at McIntyre’s Books in Fearrington Village on June 30 at 2 p.m. 
“Bring Me Back” is a fictional story set in the music world, centered on a music journalist who lands a career-defining interview with the ’80s British rock star she was preoccupied with in high school. Parts of the book are set in Chapel Hill.

-- Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill has released Rebecca Lee’s latest collection of stories, “Bobcat and other Stories” ($14.95, paperback). Lee, who teaches writing at UNC Wilmington, also is the author of the novel “The City Is a Rising Tide.”
In June, Algonquin will publish David Samuel Levinson’s first novel “Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence” ($23.95, hardcover). The novel is set in a small New York college town. Catherine Strayed’s husband, a famous novelist, dies under mysterious circumstances. As she tries to rebuild her life and cope with her grief, she must confront a literary critic who ruined her husband’s chance for success, and Antonia Lively, an opportunistic and up-and-coming writer.

-- Marilynn R. Jones has written a guide for parents and their student athletes, “The Athletic Scholarship Eligibility Coach” (iUniverse, $37.95). Jones will sign and discuss the book at a wine tasting and book premiere from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Brandywine Cellars, Renaissance Shopping Center, 6905 Fayetteville St., No. 101, Durham.

-- Pittsboro author Carol Peppe Hewitt, cofounder of Slow Money NC, has written a book about the local food movement, “Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food with Slow Money” (New Society Publishers, $17.95).
Peppe Hewitt will sign copies of her book at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, and at 7 p.m. May 29 at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill.

Send notices of readings and other events to cbellamy@heraldsun.com.