Phil Harrison’s novel The First Day spans decades in tracing the fallout caused by a tumultuous love affair in Belfast. When Beckett scholar Anna meets local pastor Orr in 2012, they embark on a passionate relationship despite their profound differences, thus permanently altering their families’ lives. Thirty years later, their son Sam must deal with the aftershocks of their relationship as he navigates his carefully isolated life in New York City. Publishers Weekly noted “Harrison’s remarkable writing elevates a story that is all the more powerful for its eschewing of easy answers and resolution,” while Kirkus raved that “Harrison’s elegant prose and deeply felt characters create a novel with a fiercely beating heart.”
Posts Tagged ‘authors’
In keeping with this issue’s theme of fantastic failures, we turned to some of our favorite authors to see how they had navigated disappointments in their own careers. Their sympathetic yet heartening responses are below.
With his debut collection of short stories, Big Lonesome, Joe Scapellato demonstrates a confident grasp of plot and character that is equal parts Larry McMurtry and George Saunders. Each story examines some facet of America’s West—its characters, environment, and mythology—and celebrates the peculiarities of the region with mordant wit. Publisher’s Weekly praised Scapellato as “an exceptional surrealist” while Kirkus Reviews singled out his ability to be “unpredictable, witty, and self-aware while remaining heartfelt.” Joe Scapellato spoke to Brendan Dowling via telephone on February 2oth.
Jami Attenberg’s extraordinary All Grown Up focuses on Andrea, a thirty-nine year-old who’s abandoned her passion for painting in favor of a financially safe career in an advertising firm. In elliptical chapters, Attenberg depicts the various characters in Andrea’s world: her mother, a former social activist; her brother and sister-in-law, a glamorous couple whose lives have been upended by caring for their terminally ill daughter; and the different men she’s dated. Newsweek called All Grown Up “impossible to put it down” and Booklist praised it as “stinging, sweet, and remarkably fleshed out in relatively few pages.”
Imbolo Mbue’s transfixing debut novel, Behold the Dreamers, details the lives of Jende and Neni, two Cameroonian immigrants who have moved to New York to pursue the American Dream. The story begins in 2007 when Jende takes a chauffeur job with Clark Edwards, an executive at Lehman Brothers. More financial opportunities arise as Neni begins to work for Cindy, Clark’s wife, and the two families’ lives are soon deeply intertwined. When Lehman Brothers collapses, all four characters’ ways of life are threatened and they each begin to buckle under the financial pressure. Mbue’s lush and compassionate prose makes each character come to life and forces the reader to reexamine the notion of the American Dream. The New York Times Book Review hailed Behold the Dreamers as a “capacious, big-hearted novel” while The Washington Post praised Mbue as a “bright and captivating storyteller.” Mbue talked with Brendan Dowling via telephone on August 29, 2016.
Much has been said about the battle between publishers and libraries. Libraries objected to high prices, especially for e-books, and publishers moaned about decreasing profits. Discussions center around ownership models and digital preservation, but one variable is missing in all of these equations: the author.
Troy Cummings is the author of The Eency Weency Spider Freaks Out, More Bears!, and the Notebook of Doom series. He recently spoke at the Children and Young People’s Division (CYPD) of the Indiana Library Federation Conference () and proved capable of making a bunch of librarians laugh just like he does his younger fans. Public Libraries caught up with the author after the conference to learn more about his books, career, and what it takes to host a successful author visit.
The Future Library isn’t a library yet, but when it opens in 2114 it will contain written works from great authors of today – and many authors not even born yet.
Award winning author Cece Bell has been writing and illustrating children’s picture books for several years. This year, her book for older children, El Deafo, earned her a Newberry Honor. A graphic novel memoir, El Deafo tells her story of becoming almost completely deaf at a young age due to illness. Depicting the resulting challenges—and delights—are a cast of bunny characters that tell a very human story.
Building a connection between authors and libraries, the Authors for Libraries website also cements the bonds of support and advocacy between them.
Ally Condie is the author of the best-selling Matched series and the recently released stand-alone novel Atlantia. She visited Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) (Colorado Springs, Colo.) on Friday, November 14, 2014 to give three presentations at our new library. The day was packed! Two presentations were for students and one was for the public. In total, 1,108 people attended! It was a truly amazing day.
I Was That Little Girl Who Went to the Library Every Single Saturday: A Conversation with Sharon Draper
This past fall, author Sharon Draper’s novel, Out of My Mind, was Loudoun County Public Library’s pick for their 1 Book, 1 Community book. As part of the program, Draper visited the area and did an author chat at a local middle school.
An artist in residence is not a new concept. Many museums and art communities have been using this program as a way to not only promote art and the artist but also as way to promote the establishment.
Fantasy and Science Fiction author Eugie Foster (b. 1971) left us on September 27, 2014 at the age of 42 as a result of respiratory failure. I had the privilege of meeting Ms. Foster at JordanCon in 2012, and her works left a lasting impact on me.