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  Greetings Bold Type readers,

This month's theme "Valentine's," and author/performer/actor Barry Yourgrau has taken it upon himself to entertain you with two of his highly original, dreamlike short stories. Specially chosen for this holiday of the heart, Mr. Yourgrau's perverse sense of humor and unique metaphorical prowess in these stories are a delight to read. Be sure to check out his wonderful audio readings of the stories and special Valentine's Day message to Bold Type readers.

The other authors in this issue are a diverse lot, and none of their books fall into the category of Valentine's fodder. Sheri Holman's tale of a 15th-century religious pilgrimage and the mystery surrounding the stolen remains of Saint Katherine of Alexandria is absolutely enthralling. Ben Anastas' debut novel, An Underachiever's Diary, is a hilarious manifesto chronicling the misadventures of a charming anti-hero who takes enormous pride in his own mediocrity. The Other Side of the River, by renowned author and journalist Alex Kotlowitz, presents the problem of race in America through the prism of a young man's murder and its effect on two neighboring Michigan towns. It is a brilliant study in race relations that challenges our own assumptions and misperceptions. An illuminating author essay and interview further delve into this seemingly unconquerable societal disease. Don't miss this month's audio offering with readings from Holmand and Anastas, as well as an excerpt from the audio edition of The Other Side of the River.

In other non-Valentine's buzz, New York's literati recently convened on the trendy downtown bistro Balthazar to toast Nobel laureate Toni Morrison and celebrate the release of her new novel, Paradise. The star-studded event was attended by the likes of Sam Shepard, Erica Jong, Joan Didion, Jay McInerney, Charlie Rose, former NYC mayor David Dinkins (who looked absolutely dapper), Ashford & Simpson, and others. Ms. Morrison, who has a tremendous presence in person, was serenaded by a saxophonist while the paparazzi did their thing and guests beamed. Some vied for the author's attention, while others were happy to simply partake in the open bar, but everyone had a wonderful time.

Happy Reading!
Larry Weissman
Bold Type Editor