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Talking Volumes 2016 season guide

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The Talking Volumes 2016 season
The Talking Volumes 2016 season
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Minnesota Public Radio and Star Tribune are proud to announce the 16th season of Talking Volumes. All Talking Volumes are hosted by award-winning journalist Kerri Miller. 

Sept. 15: Elizabeth Alexander and "The Light of the World"

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Elizabeth Alexander is a poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist. Her latest book is a memoir about the unexpected loss of her husband and the emotional aftermath.

From the publisher of "The Light of the World":

Elizabeth Alexander found herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. Channeling her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid place, Alexander tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. As she reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband's death, and the solace found in caring for her two teenage sons, Alexander universalizes a very personal quest for meaning and acceptance in the wake of loss.

Sept. 21: Carl Hiaasen and "Razor Girl"

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Carl Hiaasen is the author of eleven previous novels, including the bestselling "Nature Girl," "Skinny Dip," "Sick Puppy" and "Lucky You." He has also penned three bestselling children's books: "Hoot," "Flush" and "Scat." 

From the publisher of "Razor Girl":

When Lane Coolman's car is bashed from behind on the road to the Florida Keys, what appears to be an ordinary accident is anything but (this is Hiaasen!). Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield — the eponymous Razor Girl — and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose on the page. 

Oct. 6: Gloria Steinem and "My Life on the Road"

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Gloria Steinem is a journalist, activist, former publisher and women's rights leader.  

From the publisher of "My Life on the Road":

Steinem's memoir is the moving, funny, and profound story of Gloria's growth and also the growth of a revolutionary movement for equality — and the story of how surprising encounters on the road shaped both. From her first experience of social activism among women in India to her work as a journalist in the 1960s; from the whirlwind of political campaigns to the founding of Ms. magazine; from the historic 1977 National Women's Conference to her travels through Indian Country — a lifetime spent on the road allowed Gloria to listen and connect deeply with people, to understand that context is everything, and to become part of a movement that would change the world.

Oct. 18:  Ann Patchett and "Commonwealth"

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Ann Patchett is a PEN/Faulker and Orange Prize-winning writer of novels and memoirs. She is also a bookstore owner in Nashville, Tenn.

From the publisher of "Commonwealth":

One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny's mother, Beverly — thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them.

Nov. 3: Colson Whitehead and "The Underground Railroad"

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Colson Whitehead is the author of "Zone One," "Sag Harbor" and "John Henry Days," among other books. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and the winner of a MacArthur "genius grant."

From the publisher of "The Underground Railroad":

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood — where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned — Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor — engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

About the host

Kerri Miller joined Minnesota Public Radio in June 2004 as host of Minnesota Public Radio's Midmorning and Talking Volumes.  She has been a radio and television news reporter since 1981. She has won numerous awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists National Achievement Award, Minnesota Broadcasters Award, the Associated Press Award and a Gracie award from the Association of Women in Radio and Television.

About Talking Volumes

Talking Volumes is a partnership of Minnesota Public Radio and Star Tribune, in collaboration with The Loft Literary Center.