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Write Stuff: Chris Knopf Plans Talk, Hartford Student Contest Announced

Special to The Courant

Chris Knopf, of Avon, an award-winning author of mysteries, will give a free talk Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Tolland Public Library, 21 Tolland Green, for the Library Foundation’s Eaton-Dimock-King Authors Series.

The eighth in Knopf’s Sam Acquillo Hamptons Mystery Series is “Tango Down,” set on Long Island. It explores issues of illegal immigration and international espionage. His 2013 book, “Dead Anyway,” won the Nero Award and was named one of The Best Crime Novels of 2012 by The Boston Globe. Knopf retired in 2017 as CEO of Mintz + Hoke, an Avon advertising agency, and is now co-publisher and editor of The Permanent Press in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

Registration is required: 860-871-3620 or tolland.org/library.

Hartford Student Contest

The Third Annual Hartford Student Contest for Essays, Poems and Art, sponsored by Mothers United Against Violence, Step Up/Step Out to End Cultural Violence and The Mark Twain House & Museum, welcomes entries through Feb. 15 on the topics “Hartford Through MY Eyes” and “What Makes Hartford Special to Me.”

Students who attend Hartford schools may enter in one of three levels: grades four to six, grades seven to nine and grades 10-12. There will cash prizes for each category and a grand prize of $500, to be awarded at an April ceremony. Submission rules are available at hartfordcontest2017.com and in Hartford schools, magnet schools, after-school programs and Hartford Public Library branches. Submissions can be made online or to Beckett Law, 543 Prospect Ave., Hartford CT. 860-233-7852.

A Civil Life

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 77 Forest St., Hartford, will present a free talk by author Paula Tarnapol Whitacre on her book, “A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time: Julia Wilbur's Struggle for Purpose.” on Thursday, Jan. 25, at 5:30 p.m. The book details the life of Julia Wilbur, a 19-century abolitionist and supporter of women’s right to vote, who aided escaped slaves and hospitalized Union soldiers during the Civil War. Registration: HarrietBeecherStowe.org.

Authors At R.J. Julia

R.J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Road, Madison, will host free talks by authors of dystopian fiction, advice on marital issues, an acclaimed novel and a novel for young readers. Registration is required: 203-245-3959 or rjjulia.com.

On Sunday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m., Neal Shusterman, bestselling author of the Unwind Dystology, will discuss his latest book, “Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe series),” a sequel to his dystopian novel “Scythe.” Shusterman has published more than 30 award-winning books for children, teens, and adults and also writes movie and TV screenplays.

On Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m., Daphne de Marneffe, a clinical psychologist who counsels clients with marital difficulties will talk about her book, “The Rough Patch.” The book explores issues in midlife marriages, such as money, health or addiction problems, affairs, children moving on and caring for aging parents, when the wish to grow as an individual can clash with the needs of relationships.

On Thursday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m., Min Jin Lee, author of short fiction, essays, literary criticism and “Pachinko,” a saga of the life of four generations of a Korean immigrant family in 20th-century Japan, will speak.

On Saturday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m., Connecticut author Leslie Connor will discuss her poignant novel for younger readers, “The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle,” about a kid with learning disabilities whose best friend dies mysteriously in the Buttle family orchard and then another bullied kid goes missing. Can Mason help solve these mysteries?

Bank Square Books

Bank Square Books, 53 W Main St. Mystic, will present the second free talk in its New Year's Resolutions series on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 6 p.m. local author Elaine Bentley Baughn, author of “5 Rules for Drama-Free Living,” will speak. The rules help manage stress, make mindful life choices, increase life satisfaction, and regain power over daily life.

Bank Square Books and Otis Library in Norwich will present a Delicious Discussions buffet luncheon and talk with Benjamin Ludwig, author of the novel “Ginny Moon,” at noon on Thursday, Jan. 25 at Michael Jordan's Steak House at Mohegan Sun, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville. Tickets are $40 and include a copy of the book about an unusual young girl determined to find her birth mother and a new meaning of family. Pre-registration is required at banksquarebooks.com or jmenders@otislibrarynorwich.org.

Poets On Poetry

Hartford Public Library and Connecticut Poetry Society will continue their free monthly talk and group discussion of a famous poet’s work at the library, 500 Main St., Hartford, from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27.

Former West Hartford Poet Laureate Christine Beck will host a discussion by Julie Jones and Mark Sheridan of the work of Gertrude Stein. 860-695-6300 or hplct.org.

Book Club Bookstore

Book Club Bookstore & More, 869 Sullivan Ave., South Windsor, will host a free talk on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 2 p.m., with Kevin Kelly, author of “Both Sides of the Line.”

The book tells the true story of Jack "Clyde" Dempsey, a charismatic high school coach in the 1970s with a secret life as a mob enforcer/collector that forces him to flee the country. Kelly, for whom Dempsey was coach, role model and mentor, explains his good and bad sides and his impact on the author’s life. 860-432-7411 or bookclubct.com.

ArtWalk Book Club

Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St., Hartford, will begin a free quarterly book club related to its Artwalk exhibitions on Tuesday, Jan. 30, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at its Hartford History Center.

The first book to be discussed is “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi, whose theme relates to the current exhibit, Robert Charles Hudson’s “The Door Of No Return.” That exhibition explores the journey of enslaved people forced to leave their homeland.

Registration should be made by Monday, Jan. 22 by contacting Mackenzie Callahan at mcallahan@hplct.org.

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