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New England Literary News
Davoll's, a general store established in 1793, takes on new life as an independent bookstore in South Dartmouth.

A new bookstore in South Dartmouth, a book of mayoral imaginings from kids, and a republished H. G. Wells lecture

News of a literary note from around the region.

STORY BEHIND THE BOOK

Poet Kaveh Akbar heeds the call of many faiths with ‘Pilgrim Bell’

Spiritual seeking is at the center of Akbar’s new collection.

BOOKS

Local bestsellers for the week ending July 25

Based on reporting from the independent booksellers of the New England Independent Booksellers Association and IndieBound.

BOOKINGS

Virtual author readings for Aug. 1 - 7

All author appearances are virtual unless otherwise noted.

BOOK REVIEW

Songs of freedom in a new novel by Ha Jin

Ha Jin writes novels defined by profound thoughtfulness and quiet, unshowy grace. His unadorned prose; cool, hypnotic style; and nuanced, compassionate portraits of characters seeking freedom and fulfillment while running up against bureaucratic, political, and personal obstacles have won him a deservedly admiring readership. His latest novel, “A Song Everlasting,” marshals many of these winning features.

BIBLIOPHILES
Ron Rash is an American poet, short story writer, and novelist.

On re-reading Chekov and Hardy, among others

There are few female protagonists as strong, not to mention as scary, as Serena, the title character in Ron Rash’s 2008 best-selling novel, which was adapted into a film staring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Rash’s most recent story collection, “In the Valley,” just out in paperback this month, includes a novella that picks up Serena’s scorched earth trail

FOUR TAKES
Downtown Lewiston, Maine.

On Maine

In July, the summer people fan out to homes in Maine. For those who can only fantasize, books set in the state offer a fine alternative. An impressive roster encompasses writers from Thoreau and E.B. White to Ann Beattie, Richard Russo, and Elizabeth Strout (do not miss her Olive Kitteridge books). And though not all of Stephen King’s mysteries are set in Maine, he himself is.

BOOK REVIEW
Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan.

John Marshall Harlan biography recalls a Black man’s supreme influence

Peter S. Canellos's "The Great Dissenter" charts the entwined lives of two men.