Books

Ed Simon and the Plight of Milton’s Satan

The notion behind IG Publishing’s “Bookmarked” series is to allow contemporary authors to reflect on how a particular book influenced their journey to becoming writers. “Part autobiography, part literary criticism,” the series aims to guide readers through a deep dive of a single book. The latest installment, Heaven, Hell and Paradise Lost, features Pittsburgh writer …

Ed Simon and the Plight of Milton’s Satan Read More »

Remembering the Beehive

A recent study by apartmentguide.com says Pittsburgh ranks sixth highest among 483 U.S. cities for coffee availability, based on population density and coffee establishments per square mile. It wasn’t always that way, before the iconic Beehive Coffeehouse opened in 1989 on East Carson Street. Readers and regulars alike can thank local journalist David Rullo for …

Remembering the Beehive Read More »

Lockett’s Short Stories Provide Authentic View of Appalachian Life

Learning an obscure Mauritanian language may not mean much around his central Pennsylvania hometown of Phillipsburg, but for Michael Lockett, now a transplanted North Sider, his time in the Peace Corps led to humility, empathy, and understanding different perspectives. Those three qualities color his narrative approach throughout a standout debut collection of short stories, In …

Lockett’s Short Stories Provide Authentic View of Appalachian Life Read More »

Longing for Limelight

Hollywood has been alternately described over the years as “a tissue thin façade full of self-important narcissists” and “a place where dreams come alive.” This year’s winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, Kelly Sather, paints her protagonists as dreamy, never-will-bes who dwell in the shadows of fame. The California native and former entertainment lawyer …

Longing for Limelight Read More »

Buying Fragments of God: The Crazy Art World of the 1980s

If the 1960s changed America’s consciousness for the better, the 1980s certainly changed American commercialism for the worse. And to have lived during this latter period in New York City was to have felt the first tremors of this change, much like living near the epicenter of an earthquake and experiencing its initial shockwaves before …

Buying Fragments of God: The Crazy Art World of the 1980s Read More »

Real-life Heroes

On Jan. 25, 1904, 179 mostly teenaged miners died in a massive explosion at the Harwick Mine near Cheswick, where today a stone memorial marks their mass grave. A single survivor, Adolph Gunia, was pulled from the rubble by the mine’s designer, Selwyn Taylor, and his assistant, James McCann. Volunteers like Daniel Lyle dug through …

Real-life Heroes Read More »

Dougherty’s Debut Highlights the Bonds Among Five Female Friends

Of her debut novel, Pittsburgh native Marianne Dougherty says it’s “about the power of female friendships to sustain us” — an accurate portrayal of what plays out over 380 brisk-reading pages. With a host of well-regarded freelance work in both local and national platforms, Dougherty has penned a tale about what bonds her strong feminine …

Dougherty’s Debut Highlights the Bonds Among Five Female Friends Read More »

His Father’s Son

For the first 37 years following his 1945 birth, August Wilson was a Pittsburgh nobody, abandoned by his white German father, Frederick August Kittel, and disdained by his black mother, Daisy Wilson, once he dropped out of school in the ninth grade. Self-educated thanks to thousands of hours spent in multiple Carnegie Library branches, Freddy …

His Father’s Son Read More »

The Making of the Mafia

There’s a scene in season one of “the Sopranos” when teen daughter Meadow asks, “Who invented the Mafia?” The question leaves Tony to consider how to respond with a mouthful of mu shu pork. That she then names those five New York City families with ease exemplifies the way La Cosa Nostra has become ingrained …

The Making of the Mafia Read More »

From Basket Ball to the NBA

While the debate over Pittsburgh’s status as a basketball town continues on barstools and radio waves across the region, what’s been settled by Claude Johnson, Carnegie Mellon University grad and author of The Black Fives: The Epic Story of Basketball’s Forgotten Era, is the important role that a black player from Homestead, once a “basket …

From Basket Ball to the NBA Read More »

The Allman Brothers Band – and Me

The road may go on forever, but it began in my brother’s bedroom on Inverness Avenue, where he handed me a copy of the Allman Brothers Band’s Eat A Peach and told me to listen to it, when I was in seventh grade. I put on some headphones, lay down on the yellow shag carpet, …

The Allman Brothers Band – and Me Read More »

The Rebellious Spirits Still Haunting Pittsburgh

Some historical events seem so fantastical that they sound like myths when retold, while others are so intrinsic to our nature that they could be today’s news, and actually help us understand our contemporaneous existence more deeply. After reading The Whiskey Rebellion: A Distilled History of an American Crisis by Brady J. Crytzer, I would …

The Rebellious Spirits Still Haunting Pittsburgh Read More »

The Allman Brothers Band – and Me

The road may go on forever, but it began in my brother’s bedroom on Inverness Avenue, where he handed me a copy of the Allman Brothers Band’s Eat A Peach and told me to listen to it, when I was in seventh grade. I put on some headphones, lay down on the yellow shag carpet, …

The Allman Brothers Band – and Me Read More »

Donora Death Fog: Clean Air and the Tragedy of a Pennsylvania Mill Town

Amid outcry over the recent train derailment and subsequent leak of vinyl chloride in nearby East Palestine, Ohio, and environmental rights groups’ concerns about emissions from Shell’s ethylene cracker plant in Beaver County, dialogue over the balancing act between commerce and public health continues. In his well-researched new book, Donora Death Fog: Clean Air and …

Donora Death Fog: Clean Air and the Tragedy of a Pennsylvania Mill Town Read More »

Pittsburgh’s Orphans and Orphanages

For as long as I can remember, every time my grandmother spoke of her childhood, it made me sad. Margaret Schall, affectionately known as “Tootie,” was raised in the Odd Fellows Home for Orphans on the North Side of Pittsburgh from 1920 until 1933. She was an orphan of circumstance, rather than by the death …

Pittsburgh’s Orphans and Orphanages Read More »

A Satiric End of the World

What might the end of the world be like?  According to Michael Simms in his debut novel, Bicycles of the Gods: A Divine Comedy (Madville Books, $ 19.95), it could happen a bit like a “screwball comedy” as he navigates a wacky scenario by using “apocalyptic satire” to boldly comment on the troubled state of …

A Satiric End of the World Read More »

Ramona Reeves wins Drue Heinz with First Collection

Take the mordant wit of Flannery O’ Connor, combine it with the stripped-down empathy of Raymond Carver, and you just might have something like It Falls Gently All Around and Other Stories. This debut collection by Ramona Reeves offers a window into the entwined lives of characters in Mobile, Alabama — a politically, socially and …

Ramona Reeves wins Drue Heinz with First Collection Read More »

Small-town Characters Drive “Wings & Other Things”

Story endings can be famously tricky to land, with Hemingway once claiming he wrote 39 different endings to A Farewell to Arms. Yet, when the writer Chauna Craig delves into the messy lives of her female protagonists, the resolution happens so effortlessly it can feel like sleight of hand. The Indiana University of Pennsylvania professor’s …

Small-town Characters Drive “Wings & Other Things” Read More »

Fitting into West Virginia

In writing, place can be both problematic and inspirational. Take James Joyce’s troubled relationship with his Irish homeland. Ireland’s Catholic, nationalist values were reasons enough for him to never enter his native land after 1912. And though he died in 1941, his masterpieces remain redolent of Dublin. In her captivating debut memoir, Another Appalachia: Coming …

Fitting into West Virginia Read More »

Airmen Behind Enemy Lines

As illustrated by the stories of eight Pittsburgh-area natives, downed airmen who bailed out over Yugoslavia during World War II experienced vastly different fates, from daring rescues to drowning and execution. Lost Airmen: The Epic Rescue of WWII Bomber Crews Stranded Behind Enemy Lines tells their stories and many others. Pilot Charles “Scotty” Stewart ordered …

Airmen Behind Enemy Lines Read More »

The Power and Danger of Storytelling

Sway. for Jonathan Gottschall, author of the riveting nonfiction, The Story Paradox: How Our Love of Storytelling Builds Societies and Tears Them Down, this lone syllable jotted on a bar napkin while watching interactions in a tavern becomes the answer to a question: What are they actually doing? His thesis: human communication stands “to influence …

The Power and Danger of Storytelling Read More »

Death of the Daily News

Nearly 200 years ago, French social scientist Alexis De’ Tocqueville spent nine months touring America, documenting observations in what became the seminal Democracy in America. His take on the job of newspapers in a bourgeoning new country experimenting in representative democracy could be his most prescient: “’To suppose they only serve to protect freedom would …

Death of the Daily News Read More »

Top
Responsive Menu
Add more content here...
Responsive Menu
Add more content here...
Responsive Menu
Add more content here...
Responsive Menu
Add more content here...
Responsive Menu
Add more content here...
Responsive Menu
Add more content here...
Responsive Menu
Add more content here...
Responsive Menu
Add more content here...
Responsive Menu
Add more content here...
Responsive Menu
Add more content here...
Responsive Menu
Add more content here...
Responsive Menu
Add more content here...