Looking for an amazing new read? Check out these local authors and excerpts from their latest works.
Those familiar with Westport and our sister publications will certainly recognize the photography of Stacy Bass. She’s captures lush, inviting images of some of the most gorgeous gardens around. In our May/June issue, we catch up with Stacy, who just released a new book, In the Garden, which takes us on a photographic journey through these Fairfield County oases, paired with essays by Suzanne Gannon. Be sure to check out some of Stacy’s photos below, along with an excerpt from an essay by Suzanne.
Garden of Earthly Delights
Forty-one degrees north of the equator, 72 degrees west of the Prime Meridian and 800 feet above sea level one doesn’t expect to find a paradise of vegetation so lush it leaves you longing for a necklace of marigolds and a cup of jasmine tea. But down a narrow road in New Canaan, on the undulating 10 acres that classical architect Dinyar Wadia calls home, where, interspersed among ho-hum indigenous species like arborvitae, boxwood, and rhododendron, sprout clusters of large waxy leaves and brightly colored phallic flowers you’ve spotted only in the tropics, you’ll be convinced that your spur train from Stamford took a wrong turn and wound up in Nirvana. As he strolls around the property, hands loosely clasped behind his back, his two collies in tow, it becomes apparent that the soft-spoken and self-effacing Wadia, born in Bombay and now successfully moonlighting in landscape architecture, has indeed created his very own Shangri-La. The only difference is he calls it Gitanjali. Among his more glorious innovations, which have required the assistance of a full-time groundskeeper, is an enveloped sliver of quiet he calls his “Boxwood Walk”–a lawn flanked on either side by layers of towering rhododendrons, endless summer hydrangeas, and the small-leafed shrubs that gave the allee its name. It terminates in a diminutive, slate-roofed tea house that is framed by a forest as if in a painting…
For even more of her photography, visit stacybassphotography.com
A Political Nail-Biter
Westport magazine featured Southport resident John Cavi—the penname for John Cavaiuolo—in our May/June issue. This sharp eighty-two-year-old has lived a long, storied life. Among other things, he’s a Marine Corps veteran, lymphoma survivor, proud dad, and granddad. Now he can add “author” to his list. His political thriller, The President’s Ultimatum, centers around the murky and chaotic Israeli/Palestinian conflict and hit bookshelves last year. Read a quick excerpt below.
Mosul, Iraq; March 1998
Whop, whop, whop, whop—the helicopter circled the landing area, a macadam road in the desert, thirty kilometers southeast of Mosul. The downdraft, propelled by the rotor blades, peppered the work crew with swirls of sand. From his vantage point in the chopper, Ari Bugari could see in the distance the oil wells pumping the liquid gold from Iraq’s most productive oil field. “Salaam,” he shouted as he alighted from the aircraft with his bodyguards in tow. At six foot two and 190 pounds, he towered over most of his crew as they gathered around him to hear the latest news. Ari Bugari, brilliant communications network engineer, was recruited in December by the Iraqi interior minister to design and implement a communication network that would withstand enemy attack. Ari recommended a network of six command-and-control centers tied together by a series of interlocking grids that would assure full redundancy.
He and his crew had been on the road for six weeks, surveying areas that were appropriate locations for the six command-and-control centers. Five centers had been approved in five different regions of the country. Now the six men were waiting to hear the news on the northeast or sixth center. They had laid out the perimeter markers, and if the soil samples passed muster, they could finally go home.“Gather around,” he said. Clean-shaven and in Western attire—designer jeans and a light mauve polo shirt—Ari stood in stark contrast to his crew of bearded engineers and land surveyors in their drab Arab attire. “I received word an hour ago that the soil samples are adequate for the construction of the sixth site, so you can wrap it up here and go home to your families. A chopper will pick you up in one hour to fly you home. I’ll see you at the ministry tomorrow morning.”
The Perfect Summer Read
Dalma Heyn, featured in Westport’s May/June issue, is a psychotherapist, consultant, author, advocate—and certainly never boring. So it’s no surprise that her latest work, A Godsend: A Love Story for Grownups, which was co-authored with her husband, Richard Marek, is a bold, refreshing spin on the modern love story. The duo also created a signature cocktail, “A Godsend,” which is a riff on the classic Manhattan. Like love, this drink is sweet—and a little dangerous. Check out this mouth watering recipe and short excerpt from her book below!
1 oz. Maker's Mark or other good bourbon
1/2 Meyer lemon, or one whole lemon
1 T. pure maple syrup
Angostura bitters, to taste
Lots of chipped ice
Put ingredients into a shaker. Test for taste, and add more maple syrup or bitters based on your personal taste. Then strain and pour into martini glasses. Can also be served over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with lemon peel.
A light snow fell on Lincoln Center. He had said he would meet her there, but had not specified where, precisely, in the complex of buildings.That figure standing under the overhang at the entrance of the New York State Theater. Surely it was Evan looking for her in the snow—yes! She felt a sudden rush. Even at this distance she could sense his solid shoulders, built-up and strong from backpacking, she suspected, and those warm, big hands. She remembered how solid his handshake was—and how busy she was trying to deny how much she liked it. He looked dapper walking toward her in a steel-grey overcoat with a red scarf tossed around his neck. And hiking boots. The guy’s the Marlboro Man!
He obviously planned to take her somewhere. Good. She was glad she had dressed up in her city clothes—cream-colored turtleneck, long navy wool skirt, black boots with a little heel. And her favorite pale lavender down jacket. Not elegant, exactly, but very much her. In it, with its silken silvery sheen, she felt she could go pretty much anywhere. Good Lord. He was carrying flowers. Yellow roses. Whatever for? Surely he didn’t expect her to lug them around New York.He had spotted her. She saw him take one giant step forward, stop, then come toward her at a fast, steady pace, his eyes as blue as she remembered, his shy smile vaguely ironic. Now he was beside her, panting like a sprinter, his exhales creating smoke-like puffs in the frigid air, holding his arms out as if welcoming her to fall into them, then pulling one arm back and, with the other, thrusting the flowers at her like a schoolboy.
For more information about Dalma and her work, visit her website, www.dalmaheyn.com.