I admit it: I have a soft spot in my heart for authors who pose for publicity photos with their dogs. Hence my love for this shot of novelist Russell Banks, who appears at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Books & Books.
I was trying to decide on my favorite books by Banks, and I keep coming back to Continental Drift. It's a devastating novel, told from two separate points of view (a working class white guy from New Hampshire and a young Haitian woman, both trying desperately to get to Florida and start living the dream). But I also have great affection for The Sweet Hereafter, about a bus full of children plunging off the road and into a lake and its consequences on a small town.
A colleague (hi, Scott!) reminded me a few days ago that Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story is a terrific short story by Banks, and I have to agree with him. You'll find that one in the collection The Angel on the Roof. I pulled out the book and reread it, and it's just as great as it was the first time I read it. Seek it out if you can.
You can read my interview with Banks here.