If you suffer from cabin fever during cold weather, WNIJ offers something that's good for what ails you. We have invited four writers to be part of our Winter Book Series, which airs Wednesdays in December during Morning Edition. This is the second time this year we have introduced you to authors from northern Illinois. (You might remember our Summer Book Series from last June.)
The series begins with Kyle White, who recently published Wisconsin River of Grace. It's a humorous collection of stories about life in the Dairy State, evoking memories of tube socks, kielbasa and "The Wisconsin & Illinois Truce of '07." White grew up in Stevens Point, Wis., but has lived in Sycamore since 1991. He'll read from and discuss his book on Dec. 5.
On Dec. 12, Cris Mazza discusses her new novel Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls. Mazza, from Huntley, is the author of 13 novels. Her latest draws from her experience as a student teacher in the 1970s. During that time she fell in love with her master teacher whose marriage was falling apart. The two start seeing each other, but the "affair" is never consummated and ends after four months. Years later, Mazza discovers the teacher had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student at the school, and that relationship occurred at the same time he was seeing Mazza. The author wrote the book, in part, to explore her reaction to the affair:
"Instead of being outraged that, `Oh he was having sex with a student', my reaction was `Why her?'"
The third book in our series is Kibbe, a collection of poems by Susan Azar Porterfield. A DeKalb resident, Porterfield explores her Lebanese and American heritage through poetry. The title poem, "Kibbe," is named after a traditional Arabic dish of ground meat, bulgar, minced onions and spices. She'll read this poem on Dec. 19 and discuss how, through poetry, she was able to make sense of her first visit to Lebanon in 2003.
On Dec. 26, David J. Gunkel discusses The Machine Question: Critical Perspectives on AI, Robots and Ethics. The book asks whether computers, robots and other artificial intelligence deserve our ethical consideration, much like we give to animals. Gunkel is an award-winning educator and scholar, specializing in information and communication technology.
Dan Klefstad conducted each interview. Get your cure for cabin fever Wednesdays during Morning Edition on 89.5FM right after NPR news at 6:30 & 8:30. Check back here for additional information, including photos and recordings of each author reading their work.