Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

There are three stories by Howell Hurst on this week's edition of Valley Writers Read. The first story, "I Can't Hear the Drums Anymore" is about a son's blocked love for his mother. "Beating Towards Monterey" is about a man's failed love for his wife. And the third story, "The Fog", is about a couple who had been football players in college.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

For some, the closing of Borders bookstores seemed to signal another nail in the coffin for book lovers. Another reminder of the fragile state of an industry being taken over by technology, e-readers and Amazon.com. But in Fresno and other San Joaquin Valley towns, some independent bookstores are not only doing okay, some are actually thriving. Valley Public Radio's Juanita Stevenson reports.

There are two stories on this edition of Valley Writers Read. Our first story, by Marilyn Larson, is entitled "Getting Out" and it is about a woman named Marta, who's been dating a guy with a secret named Ben. Deborah Hamilton's story, "Section B, Page 5", is about a recluse who finds joy reading the obituary column.

Today on Valley Writers Read, Nelson Varon brings us a story called, "Fixing Things", about a writer who secures a book deal only to lose it when he loses his cool with his boss.

Sept. 29 marks the beginning of the American Library Association's annual "Banned Books Week," a commemoration of all the books that have ever been removed from library shelves and classrooms. Politics, religion, sex, witchcraft — people give a lot of reasons for wanting to ban books, says Judith Krug of the ALA, but most often the bannings are about fear.

"They're not afraid of the book; they're afraid of the ideas," says Krug. "The materials that are challenged and banned say something about the human condition."

On this edition of Valley Writers Read, Barbara Link brings us a story called, "Leaving" about a woman named Mary Agnes Lone Hill who lives with her grandmother on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. When she is relocated to an Indian school in Nebraska, she has a hard time embracing the native culture.

Jean Ray Laury was one of Central California's most accomplished and acclaimed artists. She helped to revolutionize the world of quilting, taking it from the world of traditional arts and crafts and into the world of modern art. She died in March 2011, but shortly before her passing, she visited Valley Public Radio to record her story about life growing up in a small town in Iowa, Growing Up In Doon.

 This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a story by Terry Phillips,  “Cortini’s Quandry" and one by John Gruberg titled, "Number 1 Woman."

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