author

Author John Keene
Nina Subin / Courtesy of the author and New Directions

John Keene’s short story collection “Counternarratives” reimagines popular stories in American literature from the African-American perspective. His characters travel throughout the Americas, fight in the Civil War and experience depression-era New York. Keene spoke with  St. Louis Public Radio’s Willis Ryder Arnold about the book’s connections to St. Louis and to the grand American narrative. You can listen to the interview or read the highlights below.

Reproduced from Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert, comps. and eds., Dictionnaire raisonnée des arts, des sciences, et des métiers, Planches, vol. 1 (1762).

It is often told that St. Louis was founded by French fur traders Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau. However, little is known about how one man, Louis St. Ange de Bellerive, may be the original historical figure responsible for the early origins of the city.

Carl Ekberg and Sharon Person, authors of “St. Louis Rising: The French Regime of Louis St. Ange De Bellerive,” stopped by St. Louis on the Air to provide historical insight that challenges the often told story about the discovery of St. Louis.

Daniel Handler
Meredith Heuer

Go ahead; call David Handler’s work weird and bizarre. He’ll thank you.

Handler has written novels for adults as well as two series for children written under the pen name Lemony Snicket. His latest novel, “We Are Pirates,” is for adults, but it’s still quirky.

First use of fingerprinting. First drive-up bank teller. First cocktail party. First nighttime Major League Baseball season opener.

As Mark Twain said, truth is stranger than fiction. Ed Follis, a former Drug Enforcement Administration undercover agent has shared some true but larger-than-life stories in his book, “The Dark Art: Inside the World’s Most Dangerous Narco-Terrorist Organization.”

A few months after the jury announced George Zimmerman was not guilty in the Florida shooting death of Trayvon Martin, NBC News legal analyst Lisa Bloom published a book examining the case, “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It.”

In “Suspicion Nation,” Bloom looks at what happened behind the scenes and why similar shootings continue to take place, including the August death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

“St. Louis is kind of underappreciated as a literary city,” St. Louis author Ann Leckie said. “There’s the long history, but there’s also plenty of writers who are here now.”

That history, including authors like Maya Angelou and Tennessee Williams, and award-winning authors like Leckie are fueling next weekend’s Lit in the Lou festival.

Frank Blau Photography

This is the time of year when we begin to worry about severe weather. From thunderstorms to hail, high winds to tornados, we get more than our share. 

U.S. Department of Defense via Wikimedia Commons

Kenan Trebinčević was 11 years old when the Bosnian War arrived in his hometown of Brcko on May 1, 1992. He remembers going to buy bread at the store and being told by a neighbor not to come back because “pretty soon you Turks won’t need to be eating anymore.”

(Courtesy The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration)

When families gather for the holidays, it can be an opportunity to tell stories and pass on memories. For the St. Louis-based Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration, that provides a possible treasure trove for young people to build writing skills and forge strong family bonds.

Every year, The Grannie Annie publishes a volume of family stories written by students in the fourth to the eighth grade.

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