Capturing the Cape
With photographs of nesting terns, children playing on the beach, and sand rippled by the receding tide, "On Cape Cod" (Godine) by photographer Don Krohn presents the essence of summer at the edge of Massachusetts. As Geraldine Brooks writes in the introduction, "The photographs depict the ebullience of the summer Cape that's so easy to love, a primary-colored place illuminated by tumbles of beach roses and impossibly blue hydrangeas, glossy-painted dinghies and buoys, bright beach umbrellas and suntanned faces."
A founding partner of the Orleans Whole Food Store and Main Street Books in Orleans, Krohn includes at least one image from every town on the Cape. There are beachcombers, seals, lighthouses, cranberries, and dune tracks.
Krohn pulls back a curtain on a lifestyle that few Cape-goers experience. In an essay and a set of photographs, Krohn chronicles the two weeks he and his wife Janis Brennan spent one summer in one of the Provincetown dune shacks.
Now protected landmarks, the shacks were once home to artists and writers such as Jackson Pollack, Jack Kerouac, and Tennessee Williams. The shack Krohn and his wife stayed in was built around 1940 by the Russian surrealist painter Boris Margo and his wife, Jan Gelb. It had no running water or electricity. From the deck, Krohn and Brennan could hear the crash of the waves. One morning they saw a herd of seals in the surf. At night, they watched the stars and heard the coyotes howling in the distance. A violent storm flooded the place on one occasion, but otherwise they enjoyed tranquility.
Back home in Orleans, which Krohn calls "this softer part of the Cape," he misses the shack and "the Zen-like repetition of going down to the sturdy bright red water pump, or of lighting the oil lamps at dusk."
Twain American Voice award
T.C. Boyle has won the inaugural $25,000 Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award for his novel, "The Harder They Come" (Ecco). The sprawling, satirical novel examines America's love affair with violence. The annual prize, administered by the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Conn., was established by author David Baldacci, a trustee of the Mark Twain house, to honor the book that best embodies an American voice like that of Twain.
The story of filmmaking
Federico Arditti Muchnik is a local filmmaker whose credits include the documentary "Touching History: Harvard Square, the Bank, and the Tasty Diner" and the feature film "This Killing Business." Now he's drawn on his 30 years of experience to write "The Strategic Producer: On the Art and Craft of Making Your First Feature" (Focal). He'll be using it this fall when he teaches filmmaking at Lesley University.
■ “Little Jewel” by Patrick Modiano, translated from the French by Penny Hueston (Yale University)
■ “Unknown Caller” by Debra Spark (LSU)
■ “Love Is All You Need: The Revolutionary Bond-Based Approach to Educating Your Dog” by Jennifer Arnold (Spiegel & Grau)
Courtney Flynn of Trident Booksellers & Café in Boston recommends: "You'll Grow Out of It" by Jessi Klein (Grand Central): "This collection of hilariously truthful life stories is by another in the lineage of female comedians turned memoir writers. Klein is a writer and producer for 'Inside Amy Schumer,' and like the show, her essays offer a sharp commentary on womanhood in today's world. They touch on considering herself a tom-man (as opposed to tomboy), the perils of wedding dress shopping, and the exploration of proper undergarments. Recommended to anyone who is willing to be caught laughing out loud on the T!"
Jan Gardner can be reached at JanLGardner@yahoo.com.