NORTH ADAMS, Mass. The North Adams Public Library will offer a chance to meet some favorite local authors this month.
A series of meet-the-author events will feature writers who live in the region beginning Thursday evening at 6 with a panel of three fiction writers.
"We used to do a lot of author programs but haven't done any in, oh, 10 months," said Robin Martin, currently the library's interim director. "I thought it was time we get some authors in here and up our adult programming a bit."
Thursday's forum will feature Karen Shepard, author of "Don't I Know You" and "The Celestials," of Williamstown; historical mystery writer Charles O'Brien of Williamstown, best known for his Anne Cartier mysteries; and National Book Award winner Andrea Barrett of North Adams, author of "The Air We Breathe" and, most recently, "Archangel."
Each author will take about 10 minutes to talk about recent works or about their writing and then the panel will open up to questions from the audience for about a half-hour. The panel will take place in the library's third-floor meeting room. It will also be taped for later broadcast on the Northern Berkshire Community Television.
Food writer Jennifer Trainer Thompson of Williamstown will be featured on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m. and history and folklore writer Edward Lodi of Middleborough on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 2 p.m.
Martin said the authors were chose in part because of the popularity of their works with library patrons.
"The Celestials" by Shepard, for instance, is based on real events in late 19th century North Adams when Chinese workers were brought in to work in the Sampson Shoe factory while local workers were on strike.
"We were noticing a lot of people asking for this particular book," said Martin.
O'Brien, whose mysteries have been set in Revolutionary France, also just released a murder-mystery set partially in the Berkshires during the Gilded Age. And while Barrett hasn't written about the Berkshires, "she's local and her books are always popular." Lodi's works are of personal interest to Martin because many deal with King Philip's War in Colonial America. His newest title is "The Angel of Hadley: A Legend of King Philip's War."
"This one is really slim, about 120 pages," said Martin. "It just got checked out a few minutes ago."
Trainer Thompson's event will be, naturally, about cooking and eating. She's written a number of cookbooks, including the very popular "The Fresh Egg Cookbook," published by Storey Communications in North Adams. Martin said she's going to try to whip up a batch of lemon squares, one of the recipes in the egg cookbook, to serve at the program.
Both Lodi and Thompson's events will be held on the first floor in the former circulation area.
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