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This winter, WNIJ continues to curate the best literature from northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Morning Edition host and Book Series editor Dan Klefstad invited five authors to our studios to discuss their fiction, poetry and memoirs.New for this series was a community read of the novel Snakewoman of Little Egypt by Robert Hellenga. WNIJ invited listeners to obtain a copy and on Nov. 16 they tweeted questions and comments to the author. We encourage you to follow WNIJ on Twitter (@wnijnews) and on Facebook and use #readwithWNIJ on both sites.The other books in our December series are: Troy, Unincorporated by Francesca Abbate; Cabin Fever by Tom Montgomery Fate; And Then She Kissed El Paco's Lips Now! Or April in DeKalb, by Ricardo Mario Amezquita; and Cloudbreak, California by Kelly Daniels.We hope you enjoy reading all the books in our Winter Series!



Join WNIJ and your fellow book lovers for a community reading of a novel from our Winter Book Series.

Snakewoman of Little Egypt kicks off the series in December but on Saturday, Nov. 16, you'll have an opportunity to tweet your questions and comments to the author, Robert Hellenga, during an interview with Dan Klefstad. Use the Twitter hashtag above to be part of this special event.

Hellenga's story revolves around a love affair between an anthropologist named Jackson and a woman just released from prison. The woman, Sunny, served six years for attempting to kill her husband, a snake-handling Pentecostal minister. Sunny grew up handling snakes and earned respect among fellow inmates when she wrangled a stray rattler in the prison kitchen. Both main characters are pulled in different directions as Sunny, eager to leave snake handling in her past, enrolls at the university where Jackson teaches. Jackson, on the other hand, follows her estranged husband to southern Illinois to study the religious ecstasy of snake handlers.

WNIJ invites you to obtain a copy of this book, read it, and prepare your questions and comments. Then on Nov. 16 (time to be determined but it's likely to be mid-morning), tweet your messages #readwithWNIJ. Messages will be welcome on Facebook, too, but we encourage you to use the hashtag to make it easier for everyone to follow the discussion.

Snakewoman of Little Egypt is available from online vendors in traditional book and e-book formats.

Robert Hellenga is a professor of English at Knox College

Follow @wnijnews on Twitter, and don't forget to check your feed for updates. We'll also post on Facebook from time to time, so visit the WNIJ page and "Like" us to get those messages as well.

Don't forget ... #readwithWNIJ

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