May 2011


Dialogues by Stephen Spignesi

When Bantam first published my novel Dialogues in hardcover in 2005, it was described as a “reinvention of the psychological thriller.” Told mostly in dialogue, I wrote Dialogues as a compelling drama about a young animal shelter worker named Tory Troy who one day murders her six co-workers in the animal shelter gas chamber used to euthanize sick and unwanted animals.

Tory took a job at the animal shelter to help unwanted animals find good homes. She ended up being trained for, and working as an animal euthanasia technician. One day, after the deadly gas had done its job, she opens the chamber door and sees … a kitten who didn’t die. This begins a journey for Tory that ultimately results in a decision she alone can make: whether to live or die.

In addition to writing, I am also a Practitioner in Residence and Professor of English at the University of New Haven in Connecticut. A few years after its initial publication, I began assigning Dialogues to my English Composition and Literature students as a novel to read for the semester. I also gave them Dialogues assignments, some culled from the “Reader’s Guide to Dialogues,” written by Bantam for reading groups when the book was first published. The most important Dialogues-related assignment was a 1,000-word analytical essay in which the students had to analyze the symbolism, foreshadowing, word choice, style, tone, and all the other literary elements of the novel they had studied during the semester. (more…)

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Are you a high school teacher in the Tri-State area or are you going to be in NYC this summer? If so, we would like to invite you to our Third Annual Author Event for NYC Educators. Held at the Random House, Inc. building in midtown Manhattan on Thursday, June 30th from 1-3pm, come hear four fascinating authors speak about their books: Neal Bascomb (The New Cool), Monique Truong (Bitter in the Mouth), GB Tran (Vietnamerica) and John Prendergast (Unlikely Brothers). Refreshments and free books will be available. Join us for lunch starting before the event at 12 noon.

RSVP necessary. Click here for more information.

The Enough Moment by John Prendergast with Don Cheadle

Three of the most horrible scourges facing humanity are genocide (the destruction of people based on their identity), rape as a war weapon (the deliberate destruction of women through targeted sexual violence), and child slavery (children who are forcibly recruited to become killing machines or sex slaves).

All three seem overwhelming and intractable, but the reality is that there are specific and concrete solutions that can be implemented, if only there were the political and popular will to do so.

Help is indeed on the way. In the last five years, a growing people’s movement has been born in the United States and other countries to stop the genocide in Darfur. Similarly, there are rapidly expanding international efforts to protect and empower the women of Eastern Congo, who are subject to sexual violence more extreme than anywhere else in the world, as well as the children of Central Africa (the Invisible Children), who have experienced the highest abduction rates in the world at the hands of the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group. (more…)