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Books

Pitt professor’s ‘Dead Boys’ addresses impact of violence

By Rege Behe
In her first collection of essays, Adriana E. Ramirez writes about a topic that makes many people uncomfortable. “Dead Boys” concerns those who have died “too young, too soon,” in Pittsburgh and, especially, near the U.S.-Mexican border where she lived ...

Librarian chronicles history of Fayette County executions

By Liz Zemba
A haunting photograph that captures a condemned killer’s final moments on the gallows 129 years ago inspired a law librarian to dig up the stories ...

Hempfield dentist-turned-missionary-turned-author offers advice for youths

By Jacob Tierney
First he was a dentist, then he was a missionary, now he’s an author. Hempfield resident Ron Dingee recently self-published his third book, and it’s ...

Storytime in the Park program a big hit in Burrell

By Debbie Black
Storytime in the Park brings children’s literacy, lunch and nature together this summer, and a local author helps teach young readers about getting along with ...

Ex-CIA operative becomes breakout novelist

By Ken Dilanian
When Jason Matthews retired after more than three decades as a CIA operative, writing fiction proved a form of therapy. Living in Los Angeles, cut ...

‘Stalin’s Daughter’: The extraordinary life of a Soviet defector

By Matthew Price
“Wherever I go, whether to Australia or some island, I will always be the political prisoner of my father’s name.” Such was the lament of ...

July Blume says current book tour is her farewell

By Jessica Gelt
Judy Blume says her current book tour will be her last. “This is my farewell,” the 77-year-old author acknowledged recently over the phone from her part-time ...

Bridgeville illustrator’s new book breaks down ‘Brewology’

By Bob Karlovits
Mark Brewer seems to be staying true to his name. Even though he once thought malts were “something for a chocolate shake,” he now is the ...

Jimmy Fallon wants to give dads a win with ‘Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada’

By Alicia Rancilio
Jimmy Fallon spends his evenings as host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” having fits of laughter with Bradley Cooper, pretending to be a teenage girl ...

Andrew Roe’s ‘The Miracle Girl’ wraps hope, tragedy in an optimistic novel

By Angela Lutz
From weeping statues of the Virgin Mary to apparitions of Jesus’ face on burnt toast, hope can have strange origins. In Andrew Roe’s debut novel, ...

Pro ranter Adam Carolla speaks volumes on fatherhood in ‘Daddy, Stop Talking!’

By Leanne Italie
Professional ranter Adam Carolla speaks volumes in the title of his latest book: “Daddy, Stop Talking!: And Other Things My Kids Want But Won’t Be ...

Music! Fame! Book lays out life in Alice Cooper Group

By Rege Behe
In 1964, bassist Dennis Dunaway and four high-school friends from Phoenix, including a thin, charismatic singer named Vince Furnier, formed a band. They wore strange ...

Review: Sarah Pekkanen’s ‘Things You Won’t Say’ looks at a cop accused in a fatal shooting

By Mary Carole Mccauley
In Maryland author Sarah Pekkanen’s newest novel, a white police officer fatally shoots a 15-year-old Latino boy, claiming that the teen had drawn a gun. But no weapon is found. The officer is indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter. The boy’s ...

Author Vendela Vida enjoys the art of pretending

By Hillel Italie
Answering questions in a Casablanca police station, hoping to retrieve a missing backpack, author Vendela Vida was overcome by her feelings of good fortune. “Halfway through the interview, it just occurred to me that this was the entree into the ...

Black or white? Choose both, ‘Loving Day’ suggests

By Mike Fischer
“What I’ve been taught,” reflects Warren Duffy — first-person narrator of  Mat Johnson’s “Loving Day” — is that “if you have any black in you, you’re black.” Never mind that the light-complexioned Warren — like Johnson, a Philadelphia native with ...

Pitt writer’s ‘Eighty Days’ began as college paper

By Rege Behe
Robert Yune didn’t intend to write a novel about identity and what it means to be Asian in a post-industrial city at the turn of ...

Pitt lecturer wins PEN emerging writer award

By Tribune-Review
Adriana E. Ramírez, a lecturer in the English Department at the University of Pittsburgh, has been awarded the first PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize. The award, which carries a $10,000 prize, recognizes a promising writer under age 35 for an unpublished work ...

Review: ‘A Good Killing’ is ripped from the headlines

By Jeff Ayers
“A Good Killing,” Allison Leotta’s new legal thriller, has sex-crimes prosecutor Anna Curtis heading home to defend her sister, who has been arrested in the death of a high-school coach. Anna’s sister, Jody, was last seen with the coach in ...

Review: David Gates shares more signature riffs in ‘A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me’

By David L. Ulin
I’ll be honest: I wasn’t sure we’d see another book of fiction by David Gates. It’s been 16 years since his last, the collection “The Wonders of the Invisible World,” and even longer since his two novels, “Jernigan,” a Pulitzer ...

Review: A poet and a soldier collaborate on novel ‘War of the Encyclopaedists’

By Walker Orenstein
Christopher Robinson and Gavin Kovite, best friends and co-authors of the debut novel “War of the Encyclopaedists,” are a bit of an odd couple. Robinson, 33, is a poet, a MacDowell Colony fellow and a Yale Younger Poets prize finalist. Kovite, ...