Organizers have put a Bull City stamp on the Durham version of Mardi Gras. The event’s slogan reads, “Laissez Les Bull Temps Rouler.” The Krewe organizations have names like Krewe du Durty (a krewe of the Durty Durham Art Collective), the Society of the Sacred Bull, and The League of the Tutu.
The latter organization has created a distinctly Durham tradition as part of the annual parade, transforming the bronze sculpture “Major” the bull into “Bullerina.”
Depending on your tradition, this coming Tuesday is Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday -- the day before the Christian season of Lent, a time of reflection and repentance before Easter. Durham will celebrate the day with parades, bands, costumes and the transformation of the bronze bull downtown into “Bullerina.”
This year’s parade and related events have been expanded. Since 2011, the Bulltown Strutters band and other organizations have been presenting the parade. In past years, parade participants had to walk on the sidewalk, but this year, organizers have obtained a city permit closing off the streets for the parade route.
The Algonquin Young Readers series will release two new titles March 25. Gae Polisner’s novel “The Summer of Letting Go” ($16.95) is told from the viewpoint of Francesca (“Frankie”) Schnell,” who, during the summer between her sophomore and junior years in high school, suspects her father of having an affair with a neighbor. Frankie also must come to terms with her guilt over the death of her younger brother, Simon, who drowned because she was not watching him.
Lee Morgan (1938-1972) is remembered as the trumpet player who created the sound and legacy of Blue Note records. Under his name, Morgan recorded classics like "The Sidewinder," "Infinity," "Cornbread" and "The Search for the New Land." Morgan also played on John Coltrane's "Blue Train" recording.
His life came to an abrupt end in February 1972, when his common-law wife Helen More (sometimes spelled Moore, and also known as Helen Morgan) walked into the New York club Slugs, where Morgan was playing, and shot him to death. Larry Thomas, a local writer who also does the Sunday night jazz program at WCOM FM in Carrboro, has written a book about Helen Morgan, “The Lady Who Shot Lee Morgan” (KHA Books).
UNC will hold a memorial service for the late Louis D. Rubin, a retired professor of English and co-founder of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, today at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Genome Sciences Building at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
When Angela Belcher Epps’ novella “Salt in the Sugar Bowl” opens, Sophia Sawyer is making her way on a Coastline Express bus “past the black fields of eastern North Carolina,” leaving the fictional town of Hayden for Norington, where she can find work and “live off the profits left by a steady stream of tourists.”
Three days earlier, a social worker showed up at the door with a baby and a young boy, the other children of her husband Hunt Sawyer. Sophia, despite her moral reluctance, decides to leave Hunt and their children forever.
After a five-year hiatus, the North Carolina Literary Festival is back, with this year’s celebration of reading to be held April 3-6 at N.C. State University in Raleigh. The theme is “The Future of Reading.” The last festival was held at UNC Chapel Hill in 2009, and before that, at Duke University in 2006, when it was called the N.C. Festival of the Book. The three major Triangle universities take turns hosting the festival.
This is the book. This is the novel you’ll tell your friends to read this year. This is the book that will push all those other set in the South during Jim Crow books to the dusty end of the bookshelf. “The Secret of Magic” by Deborah Johnson is a work of masterful storytelling, telling truth with fiction in a novel that comes alive with every word on the page. With as many curves as there are branches on magnolia trees, this novel will take you into the forest and leave a mark on you.
“Sentenced to writing” is how novelist and clinical psychologist Lucy Daniels describes her life as a writer in a new collection of stories titled “Walking with Moonshine: My Life in Stories” (iUniverse, $16.95). Daniels is the daughter of Jonathan Daniels, of the family that started The News & Observer of Raleigh. Lucy Daniels, author of the novels “Caleb My Son” and “High on a Hill,” struggled with anorexia as a child, and spent time in mental institutions. Writing was a means of coping with that isolation.
Local writer M.K. Hammond, a former math teacher, Bible studies teacher and member of the Triangle Jewish Chorale, has written a historical novel “The Rabbi of Worms” (Resource Publications, $31). Set in 1096 in Germany, the period of the first crusade, the story centers on the character of 6-year-old Josef, a Christian boy tormented by bullies, who is befriended by Mosche, an older boy who lives in the Jewish quarter of the city of Worms on the Rhein River.
Sarah Addison Allen, the Asheville author whose novels are set in familiar Southern places – mostly imagined, but familiar all the same – is back with a wonderful new book. “Lost Lake” is set in Georgia, at an aging getaway spot that has been a place of sanctuary, friendship, love, loss, solace and new life.
NEW YORK — In 2013, everything and nothing happened in the publishing industry.
It was a blockbuster year for the legal profession. A federal judge ruled that Apple had conspired with five publishers to fix e-book prices, while another federal judge allowed Google to continue scanning books — without the permission of authors or publishers — for a digital library.
In Drew Perry’s new novel “Kids These Days” (Algonquin Books, $14.95), Walter, a loan officer who gets laid off from his job, and his pregnant wife, Alice, move to a vacant condo in Florida. There, Walter takes on a rather nebulous assignment for Mid, Alice’s brother-in-law, a freewheeling real estate and business investor. As the true nature of Mid’s business unfolds, Walter must come to terms with his reluctance to become a father.
The connections of Thelonious Monk, Nina Simone and John Coltrane to North Carolina are widely known. What many North Carolinians may not know is that the streets they walk, the churches where they pray, the restaurants where they hang out, may also have helped give birth to gospel, jazz, rhythm and blues, funk, hip-hop and other music of the African-American tradition.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Evelyn Pearl Booker Wicker of Fuquay-Varina has written a history of Durham’s African-American hospital-based school, Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing, filled with memories from alumni and historic photographs. “Voices: Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing, Durham, NC 1903…” covers the history of the school that operated from 1903 to 1971, educating hundreds of African-American women during the Jim Crow era. “Voices” grew from an undergraduate nursing research project, “A Brief History of Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing,” while the writers were enrolled at NCCU in 1971.