Remember when we issued a call in March for books from Illinois and Wisconsin authors? WNIJ received dozens of submissions before the April 3 deadline and, for the last month, we've been reading fiction, non-fiction and poetry from all over the region.
With some difficulty, we decided on four works that are listed below. I'll start interviewing the authors this month, and we'll present these conversations Friday mornings in June. Listen at 6:52 and 8:52, and then come back here for additional content -- including author excerpts.
We begin our series June 5 with Annabelle and the Sandhog, a novel by Rockford writer Ray Paul. This story follows three generations of the O'Malley family through the 20th Century, from the construction sites of landmark buildings in New England to a nursing home in Rockford.
On June 12, we'll follow Earlville resident Robert Jornlin as he leads a crew of veterans -- average age 72 -- to Greece to bring back a U.S. Navy vessel that served in World War II. Bringing Back A Hero is the true story of the search for a seaworthy Landing Ship Tank, or LST, an amphibious ship that contributed to American victories at Omaha Beach and other battles. The restored ship, LST-325, is now a traveling museum.
We turn to poetry on June 19, with a newly reissued collection by John Bradley, a faculty member at Northern Illinois University. Love-In-Idleness: The Poetry of Roberto Zingarello follows the fictional hero's quest for love, truth and revenge in Fascist Italy.
Our series concludes June 26 with Florencia Mallon's novel about love and loss during Chile's military coup and brutal dictatorship. Beyond the Ties of Blood dramatizes the experience of those who bore witness to the "disappeared" of Augusto Pinochet's regime.
Mallon is a Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
We encourage you to read these books before we broadcast the author interviews. And if you discuss these works on social media, please include the hashtag #WNIJReadWithME. Happy Reading!