Ithaca author Linda Grace-Kobas is originally from Niagara Falls, and her debut novel writing as Linda Grace focuses on that city’s historic past and its development-filled present. She’s reading, discussing, and signing copies of Niagara this Sunday at Buffalo Street Books.
“I’ll be focusing on the city’s historic past and current issues of development and preservation” in Sunday’s talk, says Linda, “including the lasting consequences of New York state’s hostile takeover of land on the Tuscarora Indian reservation in the 1950s to build a reservoir for the Niagara hydroelectric power project, a legal battle that went to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
“The future always seems to bump against the past in Niagara Falls,” says the author, whose grandparents settled there in 1912. “If you grew up there, Nikola Tesla and Marilyn Monroe were like family. Twain and Lincoln wrote about Niagara Falls, and Lincoln visited there with his family before he became president.”
“One of my characters in the book is John Lone, a Seneca businessman who is descended from Red Jacket,” she says. “In one chapter he ruminates about his famous ancestor while visiting his grave site in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo.”
Linda Grace-Kobas is best known in Ithaca for her career in writing about, and directing communications for, news and science-related topics at Cornell University, but she got her start in journalism and writing as a St. Bonaventure student, writing for the independent morning Niagara Gazette. “I’m working on doing a sequel, and also considering writing a nonfiction book on Niagara Falls,” she tells us.
The indie-published Niagara “entertains and engages the reader with complexities of life,” says Ithaca historian Carol Kammen.
The upcoming talk and book-signing is from 1-2pm on Sunday, June 4th, at Buffalo Street Books, on the Buffalo Street side of the Dewitt Mall in Downtown Ithaca.