My all-time favorite bookstore, Port Richmond Books—with an inventory of several hundred thousand used and rare books in an old movie house in Philadelphia—is closing this fall. I celebrate the store’s glorious 16 years in business with Greg Gillespie, founder and owner, and writer William Hastings. We also discuss the future of bookselling, the devastation of a digital culture in which rolling robots deliver books, and much else.
Mickey Hess is a one-of-a-kind writer. He has authored nine books that run the literary gamut from fiction to nonfiction, including the recently published Guest in the House of Hip-Hop: How Rap Music Taught a Kid from Kentucky What a White Ally Should Be, which blends memoir and cultural criticism; he also is coauthor of The Dirty Version, a 2014 biography of rapper Ol’Dirty Bastard
A longtime veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department, Tony Knighton is the author of Three Hours Past Midnight, a crime novel, and Happy Hour and Other Philadelphia Cruelties, a novella and collection of short stories. He discusses his gritty Philadelphia-based work, the city he knows like the back of his hand, the late Larry Brown, and much else.
Jessica Handler, author of the novel The Magnetic Girl, explores the myth and legend of Lulu Hurst, a teenager from rural Georgia whose alleged powers enthralled the nation in the 1880s, and explains why she wrote a novel about her. Handler, an Atlanta resident, also discusses her award-winning nonfiction.
The author of the novel Where the Sun Shines Out talks about why he writes dark stories, meeting ex-Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz, and his obsession with Abraham Lincoln, among other topics.
Hastings, author of the novel The Howling Ages and the nonfiction book The Hard Way, works as a farmhand and a bookseller. He discusses his writing as well as the late, great Jim Harrison.