Not Satisfied With Simple Story, Writer Digs Deep Into Rosa Parks Mystique
Elizabeth Bennett
February 2013 marked the centenary of the birthof Rosa Parks, the African American seamstress from Montgomery, Ala., who became known as “the mother of the civil rights movement” after her courageous refusal to give up her seat on a public bus. The image of a tidy, genteel, quiet lady with her head held high remains emblazoned as a totemic image of the movement.
Read More

A Life Through Letters, William Styron Holds Forth
Excerpted from a letter to William Blackburn written July 23, 1949 from Valley Cottage, N.Y. Mr. Blackburn was a professor at Duke and an early mentor of William Styron’s.
Read More

360 Sound Sets Story of Lives, and Columbia Record's History, to Music
Holly Gleason
Sean Wilentz is hardly your Quaaludes and vitriol music critic. That may be why the Bob Dylan in America author was commissioned to write the definitive history of one of America’s truly great record companies. Mr. Wilentz is also the Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln.
Read More

Remembering Home, and Elsewhere
Sydney Bender
Vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard is a Russo family tradition. “I’m trying to remember the first time we took my daughters to the Vineyard, but I know they’ve been coming every year since they were 10 or 11, maybe even earlier,” said novelist Richard Russo, who in 2002 won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his book Empire Falls.
Read More

West Coaster Goes Native to Write Life of New England WASP Family
Heidi Sistare
Maggie Shipstead was not yet 30 when she finished her first novel, Seating Arrangements. The story, as she described it in a recent interview, is about “an ever-so-slightly dysfunctional Waspy family holding a shotgun wedding on a resort island.”

Ms. Shipstead has never been to the Vineyard before. It is of Nantucket that she speaks, naturally.

Read More

Hip Hop Graffiti Novel Celebrates Lasting Legacy of Ephemera
Elizabeth Bennett
Best-selling author Adam Mansbach claims that he’s “really bad” at not working. He has spent a lifetime of summers at his family’s longtime home in Chilmark, times full of idyllic pleasures — bodysurfing, grilling fish from Larsen’s, living in a house overlooking a beach — that anyone would find enviable. But Mr. Mansbach cites his time on the Vineyard as his most productive as a writer.
Read More

In Her Education, It's Never Too Late to Learn You Should Have Known Better
Oilvia Hull
There is a large group of literature in the American canon referred to as “coming of age.” Though Susan Choi will discuss her new book, My Education, at a Saturday afternoon panel at the Harbor View Hotel entitled Coming of Age, she says it only partially belongs there.
Read More

Finding Your Voice in the Faltering Silence
Tony Horwitz
Someone once told me that writers are peoplwho have failed at other careers. That’s not always true, but it is for me. I went straight from college to work as a union organizer in Mississippi. This was perhaps the worst career choice you could make in 1981, when Ronald Reagan took office and promptly busted the air traffic controllers union.
Read More

Approaching Wine Appreciation With Full Body, Brain and Heart
Remy Tumin
When Eric Asimov visits the Island for the book festival it will be his first time on the Vineyard in 30 years. His last trip was marked by trying his first farm-fresh egg. He was in college at the time, sleeping on a friend’s floor, and for breakfast one morning they went to the neighbor’s next door to fetch the eggs for breakfast.
Read More

No Woman Is an Island, No Islander Alone in Tale of Accidental Purpose
Ivy Ashe
For a parent, a child’s teenage years can be a frustrating time, when adulthood and independence start to rear their twin heads. Most parents, though, have the benefit of knowing the ins and outs of their child, having raised them since birth. But what if you were to skip the younger years entirely and suddenly find yourself a first-time parent to a 15 year old?
Read More

Pages