Author Study

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Author Study Events

We Are all Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 5:30pm

It's worth the trouble to avoid spoilers, including the ones on the back cover, for Fowler's marvelous new novel; let her introduce the troubled Cooke family before she springs the jaw-dropping surprise at the heart of the story.

Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 5:30pm

Woodrell flirts with but doesn't succumb to cliché in his eighth novel, a luminescent portrait of the poor and desperate South that drafts 16-year-old Ree Dolly, blessed with "abrupt green eyes," as its unlikely heroine. Ree, too young to escape the Ozarks by joining the army, cares for her two younger brothers and mentally ill mother after her methamphetamine-cooking father, Jessup, disappears. Recently arrested on drug charges, Jessup bonded out of jail by using the family home as collateral, but with a court date set in one week's time and Jessup nowhere to be found, Ree has to find him dead or alive or the house will be repossessed.

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 5:30pm

Delicious insights into sisterhood and motherhood are peppered throughout Sittenfeld's novel about identical twins with ESP. The story, though, isn't as convincing as the twins, who are rendered so vividly that readers would be able to pick them out of a crowd. Kate, a stay-at-home mom in St. Louis, Mo., is embarrassed by her sister Violet, who ekes out a living as a psychic. After a minor earthquake in the area in September 2009, Violet's guiding spirit warns her that a major quake is imminent. When Kate has a premonition that it will occur on October 16, she allows Violet to share the date with the public if she doesn't reveal its source. Kate tells the story in chapters that alternate between timelines, one beginning with the September quake and one beginning when the twins are born.

Canada by Richard Ford
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 5:30pm

After 15-year-old Dell Parsons' parents rob a bank and are arrested, the trajectory of his life is forever altered. He and his twin sister, Berner, are left to forge their own futures while still reeling from the shock of their parents' desperate act. Berner, burning with resentment, takes off for the West Coast, while a family friend makes arrangements for Dell to hide in Canada. But what Dell discovers in Canada, while in the employ of a mysterious Harvard-educated American with a violent streak, is to take nothing for granted, for every pillar of the belief the world rests on may or may not be about to explode.

The Master by Colm Tóibín
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 5:30pm

This distinguished Irish novelist boldly offers a fictional depiction of the last two decades of the life of the great god of American letters, Henry James.   Toibin gives him ordinary human qualities, such as fear and loneliness and longing, in a shaping and shading process that has not been an easy task, even in the most thoughtful, scrupulously researched biography.

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