Books

Raleigh author explores family dynamics for his third novel

In his third novel, author David L. Carter switches gears from the self-described “fanciful” tone of his previous works and delves into realism.

“From the Edge of the World” (Loyola University Press) is the story of young Victor Flowers, who has been expelled from school and sent by his exasperated mother to spend the summer with his paternal grandmother on the North Carolina coast. During his time working in the family restaurant, he begins to understand the complex family dynamics that help explain his sense of self.

“It was interesting to restrict myself to pure realism,” Carter says. “The writing of ‘From the Edge of the World’ was slightly easier.”

Carter, who says he never writes with a theme in mind, doesn’t know why particular characters show up in his stories. “They just seem to appear of their own accord. ... Victor is a good example of the mysteriousness of this process. I really can’t identify him with any one person I’ve ever known, and yet his reactions to events and his inner life came to me quite clearly, as if I were describing someone very familiar.

“I know that I am inspired by particular locations, and ‘From the Edge of the World’ emerges, at least in part, from my fascination with the unique landscape and culture of coastal North Carolina. More than that, though, I think that my own experience of working in a family business when I was very young provided much of the energy that fed my impulse to tell this story.”

Carter is a lifelong Raleigh resident and has long been involved in the Triangle music and arts scene. He holds degrees in theology, English literature and library science.

New title

Marianna Crane, a pioneer gerontological nurse practitioner, shares her experiences in her new book, “Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic” (She Writes Press).

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When she took charge of a new senior clinic in a public housing complex on Chicago’s West Side in the 1980s, Crane found that running a clinic for seniors involved far more than providing medical care. She faced tempestuous relationships, scam artists, abusive adult children and the necessity of finding unconventional ways to meet the complex needs of the patients.

A nurse for more than 40 years, Crane has worked in hospitals, clinics, home care, and hospice settings. She will be discussing her book at 2 p.m. on Nov. 11 at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill.

Award

Cary resident Clifton Barnes earned one of Communications Concepts’ 2018 Awards for Publication Excellence for his e-book “The History of the Order of the Bell Tower.” The e-book covers the history of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Morehead-Patterson Memorial Bell Tower, opened in 1931, and the student-alumni group which started 50 years later.

For writers

The N.C. Writers’ Network is launching a new contest to honor the best in short prose by African-American writers in North Carolina. The Jacobs/Jones African-American Literary Prize will be open to short works of fiction and creative nonfiction. The winner will receive $1,000 and possible publication of the winning entry in “The Carolina Quarterly.” Submissions will be accepted Nov. 1 through Jan. 2. For information, visit www.ncwriters.org.

Triangle-area authors: We want to hear about your new book. Send information to bookbeat@newsobserver.com. As space permits, we will mention self-published books by local authors that are for sale on commercial sites.

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