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When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend, Harvey, to help her with a crazy bucket list that's as much about revenge as it is about hope. But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission, and now she must face the consequences of all she's said and done.

Contemporary realistic-fiction readers who love romantic stories featuring strong heroines will find much to savor in this standout debut. Fifteen-year-old Ivy's world is in flux. Her dad has moved out, her mother is withdrawn, her brother is off at college, and her best friend, Anna, has grown distant. Worst of all, Ivy's body won't stop expanding. She's getting taller and curvier, with no end in sight. Even her beloved math class offers no clear solution to the imbalanced equation that has become Ivy's life.

Everything feels off-kilter until a skipped meal leads to a boost in confidence and reminds Ivy that her life is her own. If Ivy can just limit what she eats--the way her mother seems to--she can stop herself from growing, focus on the upcoming math competition, and reclaim control of her life.

But when her disordered eating leads to missed opportunities and a devastating health scare, Ivy realizes that she must weigh her mother's issues against her own, and discover what it means to be a part of--and apart from--her family. As high school graduation nears, Wren Gray is surprised to connect with gentle Charlie Parker, a boy with a troubled past who has loved her for years, while she considers displeasing her parents for the first time and changing the plans for her future.

Feeling like she does not fit in with the other members of her family, who are all thin, brilliant, and good-looking, fifteen-year-old Virginia tries to deal with her self-image, her first physical relationship, and her disillusionment with some of the people closest to her. When the Bat's away, the Cat will play. It's time to see how many lives this cat really has. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Gotham City looks ripe for the taking.

Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove that as Batwing he has what it takes to help people. He targets a new thief on the prowl who has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. Together, they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman is clever--she may be Batwing's undoing. But with a dangerous threat from the past on her tail, will she be able to pull off the heist that's closest to her heart?

Act fast! The first printing includes a poster of Selina! Each first printing in the DC Icons series will have a limited-edition poster--collect them all to create the full image! Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from stories, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin, a High Lord of the faeries.

As her feelings toward him transform from hostility to a firey passion, the threats against the faerie lands grow. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose Tamlin forever. Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two. With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights. Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees.

But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all. Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond.

But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can't keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated—scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin--one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae.

But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it. Now own this epic fantasy classic in an extra-special deluxe hardcover collector's edition with foil-stamped slipcase. To date, Sarah J. Her books have sold more than seven million copies and been translated into 36 languages. She will have her freedom, on one condition: she must fight to win a deadly competition to serve as the champion of the king.

The king who rules his kingdom with a cruel and merciless hand. Live or die, Celaena will be free.

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Win or lose, her destiny will claim her. After she has served a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, Crown Prince Dorian offers eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien her freedom on the condition that she act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. As the royal assassin to an evil king, eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien must decide what she will fight for--survival, love, or the future of a kingdom. Sequel to: Crown of midnight. Royal assassin Celaena must travel to a new land to confront a truth about her heritage, while brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world.

Sarah J. Maas's New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume. Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire-for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen.

But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight. She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return. Celaena's epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena's story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world. The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius.

Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't. As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world.

With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear. Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken. His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica-the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire.

And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them. But what they discover in Antica will change them both-and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined. Years in the making, Sarah J. Aelin Galathynius's journey from slave to king's assassin to the queen of a once-great kingdom reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world. Aelin has risked everything to save her people--but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture.

Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they've gathered to battle Erawan's hordes might not be enough to save them.

Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation--and a better world. And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen--before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series. Experience the vivid imagery of Sarah J. Celaena on the rooftops of Rifthold, Chaol in the gardens of the glass castle, Manon riding her wyvern through the Crossing, and many other favorite moments, characters, and objects from the vibrantly detailed realm of Throne of Glass come to life.

With stunning original black-and-white drawings, "The Throne of Glass Coloring Book "is a must-have companion for any reader looking to be swept up in the adventure of a lifetime. This must-have companion invites readers to experience the vivid imagery of Sarah J. Join Feyre as she falls in love, wages war, and explores the haunting and deadly world of the Fae.

In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny's zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Worst of all…could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?

Benny, Nix, Lilah, and Chong journey through a fierce wilderness that was once America, searching for the jet they saw in the skies months ago. If that jet exists then humanity itself must have survived…somewhere. Finding it is their best hope for having a future and a life worth living. But the Ruin is far more dangerous than any of them can imagine. Fierce animals hunt them. They come face to face with a death cult. And then there's the zombies—swarms of them coming from the east, devouring everything in their paths. And these zoms are different. Faster, smarter, and infinitely more dangerous.

Has the zombie plague mutated, or is there something far more sinister behind this new invasion of the living dead? In the gripping conclusion to the action-packed "standard bearer" Booklist of zombie series, the threat of death is given new life. Benny Imura and his friends have found the jet and Sanctuary—but neither is what they expected. Instead of a refuge, Sanctuary is a hospice, and the soldiers who flew the plane seem to be little more than bureaucrats who have given up hope for civilization's future.

With Chong hovering between life and death, clinging to his humanity by a thread, Benny makes a startling discovery: A scientist may have discovered a cure for the zombie plague. Desperate to save Chong, Benny and his friends mount a search and rescue mission. But they're not the only ones on the hunt. The reapers are after the cure too, and they want to use it turn all the zombies into superfast shock troops—and wipe humanity off the face of the earth. But can Feather fix it in time for her mum to watch her swim to victory?

And can she save her family for good? The bestselling author of the Shatter Me series takes readers beyond the limits of their imagination in this captivating new middle grade adventure where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places. There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn't miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it's been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him.

She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she's about to embark on one to find the other. But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she'll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is a boy named Oliver whose own magical ability is based in lies and deceit--and with a liar by her side in land where nothing is as it seems, it will take all of Alice's wits and every limb she's got to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece.

On her quest to find Father Alice must first find herself--and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss. Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. It's become easy to forget and easier still to ignore not only her ever-increasing loneliness, but the way her overworked hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair.

But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appear, and Laylee's world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship. Ostracized or incarcerated her whole life, seventeen-year-old Juliette is freed on the condition that she use her horrific abilities in support of The Reestablishment, a post-apocalyptic dictatorship, but Adam, the only person ever to show her affection, offers hope of a better future.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point, the headquarters of the rebel resistance and a safe haven for people with abilities like hers. She is finally free from The Reestablishment and their plans to use her as a weapon, but Warner, her former captor, won't let her go without a fight. Sequel to Unravel me. But that won't keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector The one person she never thought she could trust.

The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world The girl with the power to kill with a single touch now has the world in the palm of her hand. Juliette Ferrars thought she'd won. But when tragedy strikes, she must confront the darkness that dwells both around and inside her. Who will she become in the face of adversity? Will she be able to control the power she wields, and use it for good? Still reeling from the explosive events of the Continental Symposium and the secrets Warner has been keeping, Juliette has nowhere to turn and doesn't know who she can trust.

She's desperate for answers, but to get them, she'll have to face the nightmares that have been chasing her for a lifetime. Even though Juliette shot him in order to escape, Warner can't stop thinking about her—and he'll do anything to get her back. But when the Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment arrives, he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner cannot allow. As the Omega Point rebels prepare to fight the Sector 45 soldiers, Adam's more focused on the safety of Juliette, Kenji, and his brother. The Reestablishment will do anything to crush the resistance.

No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight for herself—and for a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever. From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Me series comes a powerful, heartrending contemporary novel about fear, first love, and the devastating impact of prejudice. It's an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who's tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She's tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments--even the physical violence--she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she's built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He's the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her--they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds--and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she's not sure she'll ever be able to let it down. When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson is shot to death, his community is thrown into an uproar because Tariq was black and the shooter, Jack Franklin, is white, and in the aftermath everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events agree.

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did s Oxford react to Alice's disappearance? In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings—and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll's enduring tale.

Ada, a friend of Alice's mentioned briefly in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend but arrives a moment too late—and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself. Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. The White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the bloodthirsty Queen of Hearts—droll and imperious as always—interrupt their mad tea party to suggest a conundrum: If Eurydice can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or if Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life.

In any case, everything that happens next is After Alice. This is the book that started it all! The Wicked Years continue in Gregory Maguire'sSon of a Witch—the heroic saga of the hapless yet determined young man who may or may not be the offspring of the fabled Wicked Witch of the West. Return to a darker Oz with Gregory Maguire. Bestselling author Gregory Maguire's remarkable series, The Wicked Years, comes full circle with this, his fourth and final excursion across a darker, richer, more complex landscape of "the magical land of Oz.

Frank Baum's world over the rainbow as wracked with social unrest—placing Glinda the good witch under house arrest and having the cowardly Lion on the lam from the law as the Emerald City prepares to make war on Munchkinland. Even Dorothy makes a triumphant return in Maguire's magnificent Oz finale—tying up every loose green end of the series he began with his classic Wicked, the basis for the smash hit Broadway musical. Presented by James Patterson's new children's imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her.

But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life. Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

Could it be a copycat killer Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper's true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe's best schools of forensic medicine But her life's dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school's forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders.

What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again. A luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of madness and horror when passengers are murdered one by one Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. I started with a sip.

The taste didn't strike me as all that interesting. Beer was fizzy but not sweet. It tasted vaguely medicinal. My feeling was to get it down quickly so I wouldn't have to taste it. I drank the beer the way I'd drink an Orange crush on a hot day, in a couple of gulps. I sat on my foot locker and contemplated my situation. I reasoned that there were two possible conditions from drinking -- sobriety and drunkenness. Since I had drank, I should feel drunk.

But what was the nature of that feeling? I waited while my virgin liver processed this new substance. A minute went by with no felt changes in my mental state. I decided to drink another beer. Still no affect. Now what? I didn't want my fellow soldiers to believe that I was not capable of drunkenness. Perhaps I was some kind of freak. I knocked down a third beer.

It dawned on me that drinking was just one more thing I'd failed at. The realization didn't bother me all that much. I'd long ago accepted my inferior status in life. I would never be a star athlete, I would never get an A in academics, I would never hold a decent job.

Most disturbing, I would never have a steady girlfriend. I believed that girls only dated me out of pity. I could hardly bear to look at the girls I was secretly in love with, let alone attempt conversation with them. If a girl showed any interest in me, I found myself losing respect for her. How could a girl be so stupid as to like me?

The Police - Driven To Tears

My lone goal was to survive a life of involuntary celibacy and failure. If people knew how inferior I was, they would kill me. Soon I lost touch with the amount of beer I drank. Counting didn't matter any more. I wandered over to the card game. It seemed to me that the barracks had been hoisted onto some kind of ocean barge that was now pitching and rolling in the sea.

I had a hard time keeping my balance. Something about my behavior must have been amusing, because everywhere I went I heard laughter. I too laughed. I felt like a comrade in arms with my fellow reservists. Perhaps I could look forward to becoming a successful soldier. Time went by, I don't know how much. I experienced a delicious feeling of contentment with the present moment.

Somebody would say something, anything, and I would laugh. I found myself initiating conversations and expressing opinions. Neither the topics, nor the words themselves, mattered. We were speaking the language of camaraderie. We were all on the deck of the ship, and the storm had to be worsening because I could barely stand up. Finally, some of my fellow soldiers, including my bunk mate, were assisting me to my bunk.

With their help, I managed to climb up and lie down. Immediately I dropped into a vortex, a pleasant sensation really. Perhaps I would come out the other side and be back into the real world I left behind when my uncle died. The next thing I knew it was dawn.


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I was suddenly and dramatically wide awake, the tile floor coming at me very fast. Is this how death comes, the only emotion surprise? A moment later I heard myself splat. My first sensation was embarrassment at the idea that the entire battery might at this moment be watching me. The second sensation was pain.

I'd fallen in such a way that various parts of my body absorbed the shock equally. I could tell exactly where and how I hit by the pain -- the tip of my chin, both elbows and forearms, big toe of right foot, and chest; the pain told me that I'd done a perfect belly flop from top bunk to tile floor.

I looked around. My bunk mate was snoring placidly on his lower bunk. I could not hear a foot fall or a voice from the corridor. I alone was awake in the world. I struggled to my feet, still mildly drunk. It passed through my mind to make a vow never to drink again, but then I thought, why not? Despite the soreness, despite a pounding headache coming on, despite a queasy stomach, I felt relieved, almost giddy. I was alive without any broken bones or blood shed. No one had seen me fall to witness my disgrace.

It was a beautiful morning. I had been certifiably drunk. It seemed to me at that moment that the world was real, and I was real in it. I had come out the other side of the vortex. I made a vow to continue drinking. With a little bit of practice, I figured I wouldn't get myself prematurely killed before the Third World War. I've been fortunate to collect a few writing prizes along the way. Below is my speech accepting the award. For a long time I wondered about my secret motives for writing my first novel, The Dogs of March, and the subsequent books of the Darby series.

I did not choose to write those books. They were insisted upon by something inside of me that went against my common sense and ambition. I wanted to be a success in the world of books and I understood my material -- small town characters outside the middle class -- was not the right stuff to make either a literary reputation or a buck out of. Why did I do it?

I didn't know. I was guided by unknown forces. And then a couple years ago my father died, and I began to have a clearer understanding of the source of my material. My dad lived with my family and me in the last year of his life. He was crippled with arthritis, osteoporosis, and just plain old wear and tear. My dad had only seven years of education. He had worked in a textile mill as a weaver for almost five decades.

When he came to live with me, he was flat-busted broke, and widowed. But he had a great attitude about life, a sense of humor, an eye for the ladies, and crazy optimism. Dad wanted a girlfriend. Gripping his walker, he said, "One with a car. He died very together psychologically, but it wasn't always so. He came home from World War II so traumatized that he dressed every morning in a suit and tie and sat in a chair all day.

It was six months before he was able to return to work, and years before he was able to heal himself. But he did it. I always wondered how a guy who had been in the Navy and had never seen any action could be so discombobulated by the war. In old age he told me the story. When he was drafted into the Navy at the age of 33 he was sent to work in the engine room of his ship, an LCI, which was a small landing craft ship that only carried a five-inch gun. Well, one dark night the ship hit a rock in the ocean somewhere near the Philippines.

They were there for days before another ship arrived to pull them off. Because dad worked in the engine room, he was at the very bottom of the vessel. As it turned out he was alone down there. Everyone else had been relieved of duty in that dangerous locale. He didn't volunteer to do this chore. Nor was he ordered to. He was just doing his job. When they were pulling the ship off the rock the craft pitched and heaved and threw him against the bulkhead.

He tried to open the hatch to get out, but discovered that they'd locked him in. Or locked him out. Depends on how you look at it. The source his trauma was not the moment of panic and the fear of death, it was that they didn't tell him that he might be sacrificed. This minor slip in common decency -- not telling him that they'd locked him -- alienated my father from his crew and especially from the officers. He would have volunteered. But they didn't ask. He just did his job, for the good the ship, the crew, the United States of America. I tell you this story about my father because I've come to think of it as a parable that illustrates the plight of the people who do the grunt work of America.

The country needs them as a group to give the rest of us necessities and comfort, but as individuals they are dispensable and unimportant. The grunt laborers are uncelebrated and unacknowledged. They have been locked out of contemporary America. I have had many role models without whom I never could have written the books that I have. My mother, Jeannette Vaccarest, my father, Elphege Hebert, both of whom who taught me how to live and then, surprisingly to me, how to die.

Even in the last fifteen years when I've published books with some regularity I still need and, through the grace of the Divine, have found mentors. And by the way, thank you Dartmouth for giving me a good job, pleasant working conditions, and colleagues who could teach me as well as our students; and thank you students. You give me faith in the future. But the influence I think about the most is someone I hardly ever talked to. He's one of those uncelebrated grunt guys. His name was Harold Archer. He was a telephone man. I didn't go to college after graduating from Keene High School.

I applied but I was denied admission because of low grades and low test scores. On the ACT test I scored a 6 percentile in English, which means that 94 percent of the people who took the test did better than I did. I went to work for the phone company. I was looking for self worth, a quality I lacked. For me, self worth was wrapped up in the idea of being good at something.

A Writer's View of the World

I didn't know what it took to be good. I thought it just sort of happened. I was waiting for something or somebody to come along and clue me in. Slowly, I grew to admire Harold Archer. Unlike many telephone guys who worked on the road away from home he rarely went to bars after work. His idea of a good time was to call his wife after supper.

He seemed serene.

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But it was his attitude toward work that impressed me. If you can picture iron bays maybe ten feet high and thirty inches wide filled with relays and switches, all of which need solder joints for wires -- thousands of wires -- you have an idea of the work we did: put up the bays, run the cable, wire the relays.

I can still remember the color code of the wires -- blue, orange, green, brown, slate. The wires would be carried in plastic-wrapped cables that ran on racks above the bays. Harold Archer put his heart and soul and art into his work. We used to tie the colored wires in bunches with a waxy twine that we called twelve-cord. Harold made perfect solder connections, wrapped his wires with twelve-cord to make elegant turns.

Guys would hang around his bay just to admire his work. Harold Archer not only did his work beautifully and competently, he did it with passion. Sometimes he would work right through the breaks and into the lunch hour and after five o'clock when nobody was paying him. The backs of Harold Archer's bays should have been in art galleries; however, replaced by the age of the chip, they've probably been scrapped. But his art lives today in my mind. Harold Archer taught me what it takes to be good at something.


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They say that anybody who was around when John Kennedy was killed remembers where they were when the news came. I remember being suddenly aware that my head was only a foot from the ceiling. I felt just a twinge of that claustrophobic, alienated feeling that my father must have felt in the engine room when they were pulling his ship off the rock. The next year I was out of the phone company and in college, on a track that has brought me here today.

So the answer to my earlier question -- why did I do it, write the kind of books I have?

Jimmy Darmody in Season 1

Well, I still don't know. But part of it has to do with honoring the working grunts. On behalf of my parents and on behalf of the Harold Archers of the world, and the people who make stuff, fix stuff and serve stuff, who fix cars, build houses, prune bushes, plow roads, carry bed pans, sweep floors, flip burgers, operate the looms, weld the joints, keep the engine rooms humming, walk the steel beams, wait on tables, shuffle the papers, and scoop the ice cream the scoopers, how I love them you, the soul of America, the working grunts -- for you I accept and dedicate this award.

Thank you. Collectively, the books chronicle the fortunes of several families, creating a portrait of northern New England as a socially stratified region where people stubbornly maintain entrenched beliefs about the place and its residents, in spite of obvious significant changes. In Live Free or Die, the concept of freedom through withdrawal from the community is approached more practically and examined more exhaustively, but ultimately it is rejected again.

Contentment can only be achieved by shedding the divisive prejudices about Darby and recognizing the citizens as individuals rather than icons of social and historical forces. The most prominent symbol of that value was a land trust created by the late Reggie Salmon, the Squire of Upper Darby. Playing the part of a wealthy aristocrat, Salmon established the Trust as a monument to his family name.

To do this, he consumed virtually all his inheritance, leaving his daughter Lilith a large, dilapidated mansion and only enough money to finish college. His wife was left with nothing except her self-image as the dowager of Upper Darby, and an avenue of escape; her most recent lover, Professor Hadly Blue, had proposed that she join him in Australia. Yet the Trust itself was ironic, for it had been founded on crime, deception, and betrayal.

Since Reggie and Persephone had quarreled about the cost of sending Lilith to an expensive private college rather than the local state school, Reggie could have been certain that the land would not be dedicated to his vision of a wilderness preserve. Although Trellis died without announcing her intention, a will reflecting the change was discovered by Ike Jordan, a burglar with aspirations of social and political elevation.

His attempt to blackmail the Squire resulted in Reggie murdering him and then exploiting the death at a town meeting to rally opposition to a proposed mall. That conflict, laden with historical animosities and competing visions of both the Trust and the town, was waged with secrets, self-interested offers of assistance, and temporary alliances. Yet the father she so admired continued to disappoint her even after death. From her mother she learned that the family fortune was spent, and from Frederick she learned that Reggie had committed suicide.

Hebert left for the reader the question of who had betrayed Lilith more — the father who abandoned her or the mother who had lied about it. Like other northern New England writers, Hebert depicted social divisions in the region as geographic divisions. The Salmons were the highest in the social hierarchy, but the ambitious and commercially successful Prells were on the verge of overtaking them. Prell had been bitter lifelong rivals.

Yet as little as E. Even the Trust would be exploited by Garvin through his intention to bury Reggie there, raise a monument to him, open the Trust land as a public park, and thereby enhance the value of his condominium development. One of the few areas of agreement between the Upper Darby and Center Darby was their mutual mistrust. The interclass antipathy was shown by the similarity of reactions by Howard Elman and Persephone Salmon upon learning of the relationship between Frederick and Lilith.

He took as his model literal bridges at both the beginning and end of the novel, but significantly they were located outside Darby. He found the other bridge on his westward flight near the end of the novel. Spotting a graffito too high on an abandoned railroad trestle to be read from the road, Frederick decided to climb the grid work to see it. Contemplating his relationship with Lilith, with the rest of Darby, and with himself as he climbed, he began to consider jumping to his death.

Yet the moment he slipped, he reconnected with his strong desire to live. His love for Lilith overcame his wounded pride and mistrust, and he realized that irrespective of her feelings, he needed to return to Darby to support her. Until that point, Hebert had presented no characters capable of bridging the social class divisions.

Dot McCurtain, the town gossip, moved among the three spheres of Darby, but her role was more divisive than unifying. You were what she said you were. The only example of a human bridge at all was Cooty Patterson, the hermit friend of the Elman men who survived by trapping and scavenging food. Howard and Frederick were unable to relate to each other directly, but they expressed their mutual love and concern through Cooty. Each spoke freely to Cooty about the other, and each offered Cooty those things which masculine pride prevented them from offering to the other directly.

Like the people who fished for it, the fish was not native to the area, but had displaced the native trout so completely that it was commonly believed to be native. It can be daring, impulsive, on occasion brave, but not contemplative or philosophical, even as far as fish go… Actually, the bass is like the guy who hates his job, who on Saturday night in the living room after the wife and kids have gone to bed, sits drunk and inert in front of the TV, watching his perfected self in the beer commercials.

Frederick, branded as different for his relationship with a woman above his caste, preferred to fish for perch. As both the slogan for his lifestyle and the official motto of his home state, it ironically tagged him with the home he was fleeing. In this, Hebert subtly illustrated the futility of seeking freedom by running from family, friends, and home. She in turn used the headband to symbolize the rebellious aspect of their relationship. Although Hebert was not specific about the socks and shirt, he did explicitly note that Frederick kicked the headband back to her before leaving.

Having become a rejected symbol of their fractured love, it had lost its value as a symbol of freedom. Garvin Prell actively courted Lilith, promising the financial security, social standing, and stability that Frederick could not offer her. Go away. Trash man! Nonetheless, Eleanor had no sooner spurned Lilith than she recognized her sin and prayed for forgiveness. By returning Frederick to Lilith on the Trust just before her death, Hebert illustrated the choice between living free and dying. Freedom was not, as Frederick has supposed, achieved through isolation from loved ones, but rather by discarding the historical prejudices and resentments of each social class against the others.

Only by shedding the traditional attitudes and biases of Center Darby and Upper Darby could Frederick and Lilith truly unite as they had at the allegorically named Grace Pond in the heart of the Trust. That child, created from the union of the two classes and born within the Trust, could claim as a birthright the potential to truly live free.

The novels that Ernest Hebert set in Darby, New Hampshire have focused on the struggles of individuals to come to terms with their identities and places in a socially stratified community. Several characters have striven to define themselves rather than simply accept the roles assigned to them by the town and based on family, gender, and especially class. While some have the latitude to define their own places within the narrow scope of their castes, the community becomes brutal when its social boundaries are transgressed.

After a fifteen-year hiatus from Darby and two unrelated novels, he has returned to his fictitious town with a more optimistic attitude. While the same struggles about class and conformity are reprised, the potential for characters to define their own identities and form cross-class friendships is much greater. Demographically, the population is small enough to require a government of no more than one constable, a town clerk, and three selectmen, but Darby encompasses a diverse enough social spectrum to be generally representative of northern New England.

Geographically, its settlement pattern follows its class stratification, dividing the town into three villages representing the wealthy, working class, and poor. Rivalries and even sub-categories divide those villages further. The poorest village is Darby Depot, a shantytown which readers experience through the Jordan clan. They are alcoholic, abusive, incestuous, under-educated, under-employed, and prone to criminal behavior.

Their peculiar social code regulates many aspects of their lives, from gendered spaces to non-verbal communication, but the two highest principles are ascendancy and succor. Having been evicted from the land on which his family had built a small compound of shacks, Ollie was faced with turning to the hated and feared Welfare Department for support, or to one of his younger half-brothers. By the code of the Jordan kinship, they were bound to provide support, or succor, for him if he asked, but if they did so, he surrendered ascendancy, or pre-eminence, to them. Faced with these alternatives, Ollie fled to the woods to build a home for himself and the special-needs son he kept literally chained to himself when in town.

A laid-off mill foreman, Howard faced the same crushing poverty that was so familiar to the Jordans, but with his Yankee virtues of self-reliance, stubbornness, and diligence, he built a successful trash removal business. Ollie tried hard not to hold it against Elman that he was addicted to work. After all, work was only one of two flaws that Elman had, the other being clock-watching.

How can you concentrate on your drinking when you are trying to fix an engine? But Ollie reined himself in. A Little More Than Kin, pp. While they evinced no particular disdain for blue-collar workers like Elman, his resentment of them was undisguised. In Live Free or Die, Elman and a landless agricultural worker called Pitchfork Parkinson had the following conversation. All the green stuff is in the field and not in the wallet. They hire these retarded fellows to shovel shit for low pay. They hire darkies from the islands to pick apples for low pay.

As a result, they became the wealthiest of the old families, though not the most highly esteemed. Truces in the struggles between Prells and Salmons resulted from outside threats. Another such threat was Lawrence Dracut, an attorney and recent arrival to Darby. Hebert developed several characters that struggle to express their individuality within this rigidly divided community. But inevitably the work will run out for me when I reach my 40s, because that's the way things seem to be right now, though there are more female writers.

You have to re invent yourself all the time and allow yourself to step back and reassess and not just get locked into the idea that you can't do anything else but the one thing. I think I will be able to diversify and be more versatile and try different avenues within acting.

She mentions writing, particularly for children's films or programmes, and radio, but would not like to direct "and certainly not produce". Aside from that, her plans, her ambitions are simple: "I would like to work. I love work, and I don't ever want to stop working. I would like to do wonderful work, not necessarily always things that are a major commercial success. I would love to do more theatre; I'm mad about that. And look at the Liam Neesons and Gabriel Byrnes I'm not trying to say I'm looking for a job, I'm not, but you've got to nurture talent.

And it seems people have to move away and develop themselves, but it seems a shame. She's come a long way, but her path is hardly set. There are too many odds stacked against us in a man's world. Because I really like men and enjoy their company immensely, I tend to make up the rules as I go along. It's hard and frustrating but it's slowly changing.

Has she been treated differently to male actors? I think the more you work, in a sense, the more powerful you become because the more people you attract to a programme. Therefore you're a valuable property so they're not really going to mess around with you for that period. When you're not in that position everything is stacked against you, so enjoy it while it lasts. And I just felt - Jesus! That's what it's like. I'll get my arse done," she says scathingly, "and my tits done and my nose done when I'm It's that side of it that's so alien to what I'm about and I don't suffer from that sort of insecurity.

LIKE all of us, but actors most especially, she wants to be loved. Allied with a wish to be open and straight bout things, a concern for how she will be perceived: when we meet on the set after the initial interview, she jokes about my not doing a hatchet job on her while at the end of the interview, she berates herself - without any justification whatsoever - for being inarticulate. Her bad experiences with the press include coverage of her relationship with Stephen Tompkinson known for his role in Drop the Dead Donkey.

It is a very appealing story: two, attractive, young actors with a very mildly flirtatious screen relationship between priest and barmaid in a high profile TV series fall in love themselves off screen. There was huge interest in their now almost year long relationship, so Dervla and Stephen decided to oblige, invited the British press over to Tinakilly House for interviews and photographs - "we've nothing to hide, there's no big deal" - hoping for a bit of peace afterwards.

I understand that they have to have an angle to sell the story on but the intrusion sometimes gets to you. They're only waiting for us to split up. I'm quite happy to let Bob Geldof and Paula Yates do that all on their own. But it can get more serious, like when they were followed to a Caribbean island where they had planned "a big runaway holiday" together and ended up having to move to another island. I know we're stable and comfortable and very much in love and I know that we're not selling it, that it's not a, say, business relationship. It's very real and I've no qualms about being honest and open about that and if the press want to tear us asunder in two years time, fine.

It's been a difficult year but it has been a laugh too. We have a great time together, we complement each other, it's great. It's good to be with someone who knows the stresses of the business and they don't have arguments: "We have very heated debates. It's really quite normal. We eat chocolates and pizza and watch wrestling and the Simpsons and have a good laugh. Three days, however, they haven't been having much of a real life at all, because of" the constraints of Ballykissangel's shooting schedules. The series was filmed on set in a Sandyford studio, and on location in Avoca, during which time Dervla's days consisted of a 5 a.

There was just one day off each week. Not an easy regime to sustain, and she's feeling pretty exhausted. But it is also one which leads to getting to know everyone on set on a very close level.

King of Pain

I love the business. We use cookies to personalise content, target and report on ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. For more information see our Cookie Policy. Deirdre Falvey. More from The Irish Times Music. Subscriber Only.