The practice and frustration of family law

Aug. 30, 2013 @ 10:26 AM

Margaret Klaw, a family lawyer in Philadelphia, recounts in the opening chapter of her memoir “Keeping It Civil: The Case of the Pre-nup and the Porsche & Other True Accounts from the Files of a Family Lawyer” (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, $24.95), the story of a young (unmarried) couple fighting over the custody of their young child. After the father tried to choke the mother, the mother filed a protective order to keep the father away from the child. The father retaliated by accusing her of being a drug addict. When a judge ruled that the father’s parents would get custody of the child, the woman was hysterical and distraught.
Klaw, believing that she had failed her client, set about considering a counter strategy, when she received a call from her client, staying that the father had given her an engagement ring and that all was well. Klaw has collected similar stories from her years “in the trenches of this rapidly morphing world” of family law. “Keeping It Civil” goes on sale Sept. 24.

Here are some more releases and forthcoming events:
Hillsborough author Allan Gurganus’ first novel in a decade, “Local Souls” (Liveright, $25.95) will be published Sept. 23. In the new novel, Gurganus returns to Falls, N.C., the setting of “Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All.” “Local Souls” links three novellas, charting  adultery, obsession, and incest in the New South (same as the Old South).
Gurganus will read and sign copies of the novel at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 210 St. Mary’s Road in Hillsborough. There will be copies of “Local Souls” available for purchase at a reception following the reading.
For information, call 919-732-9308.

Sonya Sones, the author of “Stop Pretending,” “One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies,” and other young adult novels written in verse, has a new novel (recommended for ages 12 and up). In “To Be Perfectly Honest: A Novel Based on an Untrue Story” (Simon & Schuster, $17.99), Colette, who was a character in one of Sones’ previous novels, expounds on the fate of being the daughter of a famous movie star. Because the focus is always on her mom, Colette feels insignificant, and tells elaborate lies to make herself feel more important.
Sones will read and sign copies of her new novel at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Chapel Hill.

John Milliken Thompson’s historical novel “Love and Lament” (Other Press, $15.95) is set in rural North Carolina between the Civil War and World War I and chronicles the Hartsoe family’s hardships and misfortunes during that period. Thompson will read and sign copies of the novel at three local events – Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. at The Regulator Bookshop, 720 Ninth St., in Durham; Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. at McIntyre’s Fine Books in  Fearrington Village, Pittsboro; and Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. at Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Chapel Hill.

Jay Leutze, author of “Stand Up That Mountain,” will be the guest for the Meet the Author Tea at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Drive.   The book is Leutze’s memoir of how he teamed up with his Appalachian neighbors to preserve a treasured piece of land. This event is free and open to the public.


Bernard Dillard, a native of Durham, has been awarded the Gold Medal (first place) in Dan Poynter’s 2013 Global eBook Awards Competition in the category of autobiography and memoir for his book “Lemonade: Inspired by Actual Events” (BerNerd Publishing, $14.98).  This national competition grants awards in 72 categories and is open to all publishers.

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