First, I must extend my thanks and congratulations to all the photographers who submitted works to our fifth annual Photo Contest this year. The high quality and artistic merit of the entries made for some nerve-racking judging, but, somehow, we narrowed it down to the winners found in this week's feature.
The worst thing about sequels is how so many borrow upon the brilliance of what came before without repaying the debt. So let me get this out of the way: Tony Earley’s new novel, The Blue Star, is a very fine book, full of moments of humor and tenderness, prose so glassine you almost forget it is there. But it is a very different novel from Jim the Boy, Earley’s 2001 novel about a 9-year-old growing up in the ’30s in the shade of three kindly uncles, his widowed mother and the hills of North Carolina.
The Great Depression left many marks on the U.S. in the history books and the hearts and minds of the people. It also left a more physical trail: memories etched into sides of buildings or captured in photographs. With the hard times came desperate measures and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did what he felt was best by creating the New Deal, paving the way for art on a scale we'd never seen before and haven't since.