Talking Volumes will host author Michael Greenberg in February.

Greenberg, who wrote a searing and much-praised account of his daughter's sudden onset of bipolar disorder, will be featured in Talking Volumes Feb. 24, 2009, followed in May by renowned poet Rita Dove.

Greenberg's book, "Hurry Down Sunshine," was published in September and already has been sold in 14 countries and excerpted in O, the Oprah Magazine.

"In its detail, depth, richness, and sheer intelligence, 'Hurry Down Sunshine' will be recognized as a classic of its kind," wrote Oliver Sacks in the New York Review of Books. "What makes it unique is the fact that so much here is seen through the eyes of an extraordinarily open and sensitive parent -- a father who, while never descending into sentimentality, has remarkable insight into his daughter's thoughts and feelings, and a rare power to find images or metaphors for almost unimaginable states of mind."

Greenberg, who lives in New York, is a columnist for the Times Literary Supplement. He interweaves his family's heartbreaking story with that of James Joyce, whose own daughter suffered similarly. Greenberg will appear at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul
 

 

The regional book club kicked off the new season with Richard Russo, whose "Empire Falls" won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2002. His first novel since that book, titled "Bridge of Sighs," came out last year and is being issued as a paperback this fall. Set in a down-at-the-heels upstate New York town, "Bridge of Sighs" is a wildly digressive novel in which Russo, according to one critic, "lays bare the miraculousness of the mundane." Some of the action takes place in Venice, Italy, where a friend of protagonist Louis C. Lynch has established himself as a famous painter. But most of the story unfolds in familiar Russo territory, the industrial Northeast, where family secrets and societal change intermix on a broad canvas. 

Bestselling author Wally Lamb appeared in November. Lamb read from his first novel in 10 years, "The Hour I First Believed."  His two previous novels, "She's Come Undone" and "I Know This Much Is True," each topped the New York Times bestseller list and he has twice been chosen by Oprah's Book Club. The new novel's plot is informed by Lamb's longtime job leading a writing workshop at a women's prison in Connecticut.
 

Rita Dove is the final writer in the 2008-09 Talking Volumes season. She will appear May 11, 2009. Her remarkable career includes winning the Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 1987 (for her book "Thomas and Beulah"), being named Poet Laureate of the United States in 1993 and publishing eight books of poetry. Dove, who has long taught at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, will talk with Minnesota Public Radio's Kerri Miller about her life and work, and her most recent publication of poems, "American Smooth." Both authors will be profiled in the Star Tribune.

All writers will be profiled in the Star Tribune's A+E section. Talking Volumes, now in its ninth year, is a partnership of the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio, in collaboration with the Loft Literary Center. Public ticket price is $20; member tickets are $18. 651-290-1221.

CLAUDE PECK