It's well-known that Twain wrote extensively about the real people and places he found growing up in Hannibal, and many of Tom Sawyer's experiences were his experiences. As a companion piece to the Word Missouri feature Hannibal: living in the shadow of Twain, I traveled to three places that make appearances in his books to see how they've changed in the nearly two centuries since Twain's boyhood here. Click for photos and sound from each place. (Mark Twain re-enactor Jim Waddell provides Twain's voice.)
The month of November can seem a little dreary: shorter days, colder weather and it’s still a month away from the major holidays. But it has a lot more going on than you’d think. This week’s show focuses on two things that make this month a little more interesting.
Missouri native Bridget Bufford's second novel Cemetery Bird has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Bufford speaks frankly about her upbringing in Missouri, writing drug-addicted characters and why it's so hard to run away from the Midwest.
Last week Word Missouri told the story of a group of bookstores in St. Louis supporting each other through events like bookstore tours and literary speed dating. These events aren’t only good for booksellers – they also benefit local authors who write in niche genres and don’t have the support of an academic setting or a big-name publisher. Fortunately, the realm of social media is good to genre writers.
In Missouri, like everywhere else, hundreds of under-the-radar bookstores struggle to stay above water in an age of Amazon and E-readers. Earlier this year a group of independent bookstores in St. Louis forgot about looking at each other as competitors and banded together. Their goal is to promote each other while keeping an eye on threats to the bookstore industry.