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(Virtual) Prologue: "What a Wonderful World This Could Be" by Lee Zacharias, July 12th




On Monday, July 12th, host Ben Steelman of the Star News will sit down (virtually) with author Lee Zacharias to discuss her new book, "What a Wonderful World This Could Be."


What Alex, illegitimate daughter of an alcoholic novelist and an artist, has always wanted is family. At 15, she falls in love with a 27-year-old photographer, whom she will leave when she comes under the spell of Ted Neal, a charismatic activist on his way to Mississippi for 1964’s Freedom Summer. That fall Ted organizes a collective that turns to the growing antiwar movement. Ultimately the radical group Weatherman destroys the “family” Alex and Ted have created, and in 1971 Ted disappears while under FBI investigation. When Ted surfaces eleven years later, Alex must put her life back together in order to discover what true family means.


Lee Zacharias was born in Chicago. A graduate of Indiana University, Hollins College, and the University of Arkansas, she has taught at Princeton University and the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where for a decade she edited The Greensboro Review. She has held writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. Her first novel, Lessons, won North Carolina's Sir Walter Raleigh Award, her second novel, At Random, was a finalist in literary fiction for both the 2013 International Book Award and the 2013 National Indie Excellence Award, and her nonfiction, which has appeared in such journals as Shenandoah, The Southern Review, and The Gettysburg Review, has been reprinted in The Best American Essays. She is a photographer as well as the author of five books of fiction. The Only Sounds We Make, a collection of personal essays, won a silver medal in the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards, and her third novel, Across the Great Lake, was named a 2019 Notable Michigan Book, received a silver medal in literary fiction in the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards, the 2019 North Carolina Sir Walter Raleigh Award, and the 2020 Phillip H. McMath Award. She co-edited the 2020 anthology Runaway with Luanne Smith and Michael Gills. Her fourth novel, What a Wonderful World This Could Be, was released from Madville Publishling on June 1, 2021.

Mary Bradley moved to Wilmington from Los Angeles, CA in May 2007 with her husband Frank and twin baby daughters, Maggie and Kate. In California, Mary had been Drive Director and the producer of Elvis Mitchell's nationally syndicated public radio interview program "The Treatment" for public radio station KCRW for ten years. Mary was raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Boston University. Mary recently served as President of the Board of Directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Cape Fear Chapter.