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Walter Edgar's Journal

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Friday, August 01, 2014

The Whiskey Baron: John Sealy; The Last Original Wife: Dorothea Benton Frank

With its unforgettable characters and evocative setting, Jon Sealy’s first novel, The Whiskey Baron (Hub City Press, 2014) is a gripping drama, set it South Carolina during Prohibition, about family ties and bad choices, about the folly of power and the limitations of the law. Sealy has been hailed as a “grand new talent” (Bret Lott) and a “significant new voice in Southern fiction” (Ron Rash). He joins Dr. Edgar to talk about his book, and about what it takes to write and publish a “first novel” today.

And, Dorothea Benton Frank joins us to talk about The Last Original Wife (William Morrow Paperbacks, 2014), which was recently published in paperback. The last original wife of the title is Leslie Anne Greene, the lone remaining first spouse in her husband's circle of friends. It only takes a relatively minor accident to snap her to the realization that what had seemed like a singular mark of distinction had become over the span of years a hollow symbol. To retrieve and replenish her life, she retreats to the pristine sands of South Caroline's shores. There she finds more than she ever imagined. A classic summer vacation read from the inimitable Dorothea Benton Frank.


Friday, August 08, 2014

Conversations on the Civil War, 1864: The War at Sea

(Originally broadcast 03/07/14) - Dr. Craig L. Symonds is a retired professor of history at the United States Naval Academy and the author of The Civil War at Sea (Oxford University Press, New York, 2012) ) and numerous other books. He joins Dr. Edgar to talk about the navies on both sides of the conflict, the impact of emergent technologies, the effectiveness of the Union's ambitious strategy of blockading, the odyssey of Confederate commerce raiders, the role of naval forces on the western rivers, and the difficulty of conducting combined sea and ground operations against the major Southern port cities.

The presentation was recorded at the University of South Carolina’s Capstone Conference Center, in Columbia, on February 4, and was part of the series “Conversations on the Civil War, 1864,” presented in January and February, 2014. The series is sponsored by the USC College of Arts and Sciences.


Friday, August 15, 2014

The South Carolina Botanical Garden - Patrick McMillan and John Bodiford

(Originally broadcast 03/28/14) - The South Carolina Botanical Gardens, located on the campus of Clemson University, is a diverse 295-acre garden of natural and manicured landscapes within the South Carolina Piedmont ecosystem.  Director Patrick McMillan and Manager John Bodiford will join Dr. Edgar to talk about the Gardens. They will also discuss the ongoing restoration following the remarkably heavy rain which flooded the Garden and its related facilities in 2013.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Conversations on the Civil War, 1864: Plain Folk on the Home Front

(Originally broadcast 03/21/14) - Dr. Melissa Walker is the author of numerous books on the Civil War and is co-editor of Upcountry South Carolina Goes to War (USC Press, 2011). She will talk with Dr. Edgar about the role of “plain folk”—especially women—during the war.

This presentation was recorded at the University of South Carolina’s Capstone Conference Center, in Columbia, on January 28, and was part of the series “Conversations on the Civil War, 1864,” presented in January and February, 2014. The series is sponsored by the USC College of Arts and Sciences.


Friday, August 29, 2014

The Minus Times Collected- Hunter Kennedy

(Originally Broadcast 02/28/14) - Begun as an open letter to strangers and fellow misfits, The Minus Times grew to become a hand-typed literary magazine that showcased the next generation of American fiction. Contributors include Sam Lipsyte, David Berman, Patrick DeWitt, and Wells Tower, with illustrations by David Eggers and Brad Neely as well as interviews with Dan Clowes, Barry Hannah, and a yet-to-be-famous Stephen Colbert. With sly humor and striking illustrations, The Minus Times has earned a fervent following as much for its lack of literary pretension as its sporadic appearances on the newsstand. All thirty of the nearly-impossible-to-find issues of this improvised literary almanac are now assembled for the first time, typos and all, in The Minus Times Collected, by Hunter Kennedy (Featherproof Books, 2012).


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