Renown NPR radio announcer pens memorable book of short stories

If you’re an NPR listener, then you already know Frank Tavares. For many years, he’s been called “The Most Heard Voice” on public radio. Listeners across the country have heard him dozens of times a day as the man who says "Support for NPR comes from NPR member stations and . . . .", announcing the funding credits after every national news and information program. 

His new book, The Man Who Built Boxes showcases his unique and masterful story-telling abilities with twelve stories, a remarkable cast of complex, quirky characters tangled up in the limits they’ve put on their lives. 

While the themes may be familiar—crumbling marriages, feuding neighbors, sparring business partners, and the endless searching for what might have been—these and many other themes, in the hands of Tavares, become fresh, unpredictable, surprising and enjoyable. Here’s a sampling: 

“When It’s Over”

Cliff Wayland longs for any sign of affection from his wife, Brooke, even though she’s told him that part of their life together is over. What she hasn’t told him is how she spends her evenings when he’s out of town and just where she sees the marriage heading.

“The Neighbors” 

Put two Iraq war veterans like Newt Snyder and Frank Brevic, still scarred from their service, next door to each other and a friendly feud between neighbors quickly escalates into something that could turn deadly. 

“Why Jimmy Mendoza Hated the Late Tamale Jones”

Sparring business partners - Jimmy Mendoza hated Tamale Jones, even though he’d continued work with him for years. Jimmy couldn’t help being pleased when Tamale dropped dead like a stone into his pasta. Jimmy goes to the funeral looking for closure, but even in death Tamale manages to take away Jimmy’s last hope for his big chance.

“Antonio’s Yard”

Antonio Enzo Marino, aka Eddie Enzo, lives in a small Italian village. His house is on a hill that is gradually crumbling--his yard is getting smaller each year.  But despite 20 years in Italy and his long marriage to Adelina, he has never forgotten the girl he left behind in Texas. After Adelina’s death, after the garden she had planted and tended falls away, he feels freed to revisit his old girlfriend. 


The Man Who Built Boxes and other stories 

Frank Tavares 

List $9.99. 

Paperback: 238 pages 

Bacon Press Books 

ISBN-10: 0988877953  ISBN-13: 978-0988877955

An eBook edition will be available in late September, 2013. 

What People Are Saying

“Frank is as enjoyable to read as he is to listen to”. 

- Tom Bodett, author, blogger, and panelist on NPR's Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me!

“Too often, life stuns us with nuances and a mix of emotions that need time and patience to digest. Frank Tavares’s greatest gift is in delivering all of these layers and textures in a single pass and doing so with a beautiful taste of humor to make it all palatable…”

- Jack B. Bedell, author of Bone-Hollow, True: New & Selected Poems and director of Louisiana Literature Press.

About the author

Frank Tavares has been writing his entire professional life. He started publishing fiction 10 years ago and his short stories have appeared in a variety of literary journals including Louisiana Literature, Connecticut Review, Story Quarterly, and The GW Review.  

He is a professor of communication at Southern Connecticut State University. He is also one of the founding editors and active member of the editorial board of The Journal of Radio and Audio Media. NPR listeners still hear his voice as the signature to all network news programs—"Support for NPR comes from NPR member stations and . . . ." 

Dr. Frank Tavares (Professor) has a B.A. in English literature from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., an M.A. in theater from Northern Illinois University, and a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Texas at Austin. He has also taught at California State University in Fresno; the University of Maryland at College Park; Rockford College in Rockford, Ill.; and Marymount University in Arlington, Va. 

He presently lives in Connecticut.