Long before there was a WalMart and many of the other discount store chains that we know today there was the A&P chain of grocery stores. Marc Levinson initially approached this writing project with the intention of writing a biography about the two brothers, George and John Hartford, who guided the A&P through many decades and changes. When Levinson began his research he quickly changed course after he realized that George, the older brother, had led such a secretive life that he wasn't a substantial enough subject for a biography.
Martha Moody's futuristic novel "Sharp and Dangerous Virtues" is set mostly in the Dayton area. The year is 2047 and a foreign army has invaded from the north. That army now occupies Cleveland and threatens to move further south.
The area between Dayton and Cleveland is now a huge agricultural region that has been sealed off from the rest of the country. In this region known as the Grid the Gridians raise the crops that feed the nation. In their seclusion the Gridians have gotten a little bit weird.
Two years ago Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones published a memoir that became a huge best-seller. Now every time one looks there's another memoir or biography by or about a music star. Just in the past few months there have been books published by Neil Young, Rod Stewart, Pete Townsend, Kenny Rogers, Betty Lavette, and many more.
Richard Cohen has had it with the family dog. Jasper, the mutt in question, drives Cohen around the bend. Jasper barks all the time and the sound of that bark is lacerating. This dog is in constant motion, barking, scurrying around the house, and when Cohen's spouse the TV star Meredith Vieira is home, Jasper is fiercely protective of her. He won't let Cohen near her.
In August the week-long Antioch Writers' Workshop was held in Yellow Springs. The workshop's faculty members, all published authors, held nightly readings at Antioch University Midwest during that week and during the month of November we'll be bringing excerpts from some of those readings on WYSO Weekend.