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MANCHESTER >> Stop by the Northshire Bookstore on Friday, April 8 at 7 p.m. for acclaimed Vermont poet Jay Parini as he presents his first book in over a decade. This volume revolves around his deep connection to nature and underlines his concerns about the impacts of pollution and climate change. In these haunting poems, Parini writes about the landscapes of mining country, of the railroads of Pennsylvania, of farm country, of worlds lost and families dispersed. In addition to a complete volume's worth of new work, called West Mountain Epilogue, offering more than 50 poems never before published in any form, Parini has collected the very best work from his previous four volumes. Lavishly and deservingly praised over the decades for his work as an essayist, critic, biographer, novelist, and, especially, poet, Parini shines as never before in this generous volume.

Jay Parini is a professor of English & Creative Writing at Middlebury College in Vermont. A writer and academic, he is best known for his novels and poetry. He is the author of the novel "The Last Station," which is now a major motion picture from Sony Classics.

Blaine Harden, The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot

Blaine Harden, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Escape From Camp 14," tells the riveting story of Kim Il Sung's rise to power and the young North Korean fighter pilot who dared to defy him.


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In the aftermath of World War II, Kim Il Sung plunged North Korea into war against the United States while the youngest fighter pilot in his air force was playing a high-risk game of deception and escape. As Kim ascended from Soviet puppet to godlike ruler, No Kum Sok pretended to love his Great Leader. That is, until he swiped a Soviet MiG-15 and delivered it to the Americans, not knowing they were offering a $100,000 bounty for the warplane (the equivalent of nearly one million dollars today). The theft just weeks after the Korean War ended in July 1953 electrified the world and incited Kim's bloody vengeance.

During the Korean War the United States brutally carpet bombed the North, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and giving the Kim dynasty, as Harden reveals, the fact-based narrative it would use to this day to sell paranoia and hatred of Americans. Drawing on documents from Chinese and Russian archives about the roles of Mao and Stalin in Kim's shadowy rise, as well as from never-before-released U.S. intelligence and interrogation files, Harden gives us a heart-pounding adventure and an entirely new way to understand the world's longest-lasting totalitarian state.

Harden will be discussing his book Saturday, April 9 at 7 p.m.

Blaine Harden is a contributor to The Economist, PBS Frontline, and Foreign Policy and has formerly served as The Washington Post's bureau chief in East Asia and Africa as well as a local and national correspondent for The New York Times and as a writer for the Times Magazine. He was also bureau chief in Warsaw, during the collapse of Communism and the breakup of Yugoslavia (1989-1993), and in Nairobi, where he covered sub-Saharan Africa (1985-1989). He is the author of three previous books: "Africa: Dispatches from a Fragile Continent," (Norton, 1990), "A River Lost: The Life and Death of the Columbia," (Norton, 1996) and "Escape From Camp 14" (Viking, 2012).