Don Noble

Program Host: Book Reviews

Dr. Noble is the host of APR's book review series as well as host of BOOKMARK which airs on Alabama Public Television.  A widely published scholar specializing in American and Southern literature, Dr. Noble received the Eugene Current-Garcia Award as Alabama's distinguished literary scholar for the year 2000 and was nominated for a Regional Emmy Award in 2006 and 2011.  In addition he is on the planning committee of several literary conferences.

Dr. Noble's book reviews air during Morning Edition and feature works primarily by Alabama writers.  His reviews focus on why these writers are concerned with their particular subjects and how they succeed or fail  in addressing issues of concern to Alabama readers.

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Don Noble
9:29 am
Mon July 24, 2006

The One That Got Away: A Memoir

Howell Raines has been fishing all his life, and it is such an important, meaningful activity for him that he has used it twice as a controlling metaphor for recounting his life in memoir.

Howell Raines has been fishing all his life, and it is such an important, meaningful activity for him that he has used it twice as a controlling metaphor for recounting his life in memoir.

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Don Noble
4:05 pm
Mon July 17, 2006

Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee

Mockingbird is a fine biography of Nelle Harper Lee from her birth in 1926 to the age of forty and makes good reading.

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Don Noble
2:38 pm
Mon July 10, 2006

Hugo Black of Alabama: How His Roots and Early Career Shaped the Great Champion

The first thing to be said about this volume is that it takes the reader through Hugo Black's life only until the age of forty, until l926. This is unfortunate, since our strongest interest is in Black as the country's most liberal justice, the Alabamian who voted for the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision outlawing public school segregation.

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Don Noble
4:53 pm
Mon July 3, 2006

The Summer We Got Saved

Devoto recreates in her three novels the life -- the daily, ordinary life -- of her fictional Bainbridge, Alabama, in the northwest corner of the state, between the Tennessee River and the Tennessee border.

Pat Devoto is a historical novelist, not in the sense that Irving Stone was, who wrote, for example, The Agony and the Ecstasy, set in the Italian Renaissance, but Devoto writes of the semi-recent past, Alabama in the forties and fifties, living memory for many of us.

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Don Noble
10:18 am
Mon May 29, 2006

The Mermaid Chair

Sue Monk Kidd has become a publishing and cultural phenomenon, and her newest book, The Mermaid Chair, is solidly on the best-seller lists.

On the evening of March 29, Sue Monk Kidd spoke to a sold-out house in Homewood, Alabama. Ms Kidd was given the key to the city of Homewood at the end of her presentation. There were two men in the audience of approximately 600.

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Don Noble
3:58 pm
Mon May 22, 2006

Gather at the River: Notes from the Post-Millennial South

This volume, a finalist last year for the National Book Award for critical writing, is a collection of essays previously published in several publications. All are concerned with Southern culture in one way or another, and although a reader may not agree with all of Crowther's positions, he is always a writer to be taken seriously.

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Don Noble
9:03 am
Mon May 15, 2006

Stories from the Blue Moon Cafe IV

Brewer's series of books are a true grab bag--fiction, nonfiction, poetry-some of it reprinted and some of it original, and, of course, some of the thirty-two pieces are wonderful, some not.

As the title indicates, this is volume four in the series of collections of Southern writing Sonny Brewer is editing. Blue Moon books are meant to compete with the annual New Stories from the South volumes edited by Shannon Ravenel and put out by Algonquin, but there are important differences.

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Don Noble
11:07 am
Mon May 8, 2006

His Lovely Wife

Elizabeth Dewberry is a native of Birmingham, and her first two, very successful novels, were set there, with the third set in New Orleans. His Lovely Wife is set in Paris at the time of of Princess Diana's death.

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Don Noble
2:08 pm
Mon May 1, 2006

White Shadow

Having established his readership, Atkins could have gone on with this series indefinitely, and I am sure his publishers wanted him to, but he has instead written a stand-alone thriller, White Shadow.

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Don Noble
1:05 pm
Mon April 24, 2006

Sideshow

Even though many of these ten stories originally appeared in very fine journals such as The Southern Review and Carolina Quarterly, there has been a little buzz about how Sidney Thompson of Fairhope, Alabama, was having trouble publishing them as a collection. These are good stories, but they are also odd and disquieting stories.

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Don Noble
1:00 pm
Mon April 17, 2006

A Writer's Life

A Writer's Life, all 430 pages of it, is the story of several false starts, books begun but not finished, from l992 until the present. Talese may have been suffering from an ailment we might call "perfectionist's block."

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Don Noble
9:18 am
Mon April 10, 2006

Summer Crossing

Truman Capote wrote the first draft of Summer Crossing in the fall of 1946 in Monroeville, Alabama, on an extended visit "home." But Capote continued to work on the manuscript on and off, for another six years, first abandoning it for Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948), the story collection A Tree of Night (1949), and the essay collection Local Color (1951).

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Don Noble
12:45 pm
Mon March 27, 2006

The Same Language

MP3 above. [Transcript to come soon.]

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Don Noble
2:59 pm
Mon March 20, 2006

Where Three Roads Meet: Novellas

In the nineteen sixties, a group of American writers staged a kind of literary revolution and took fiction in a new direction. In his new book, Where Three Roads Meet--you will recall that the word "trivia" refers in Latin to notes posted where three roads meet--Barth has three novellas.

In the nineteen sixties, a group of American writers staged a kind of literary revolution and took fiction in a new direction.

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Don Noble
9:05 am
Mon March 6, 2006

The Assassin's Gate: America in Iraq

George Packer, a staff writer for the New Yorker, was at first a proponent of the war, a supporter who wanted to see the Iraqi people freed from the terror and sadism of their homicidal maniac tyrant president. George Packer is a whole lot less optimistic now than he was before the invasion.

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