AUTHOR’S NIGHT returns on THURSDAY JULY 13 at 6:30 with an amazing pair of best selling authors and their latest novels. We welcome Michelle Hoover and “Bottomland” and Anna Solomon and “Leaving Lucy Pear.”
“In BOTTOMLAND, MICHELLE HOOVER tells the story of an immigrant family’s experience in the Midwestern plains with empathy, understanding and an eye for detail.“- Julia Jenkins at Shelf Awareness
In LEAVING LUCY PEAR. award-winning author ANNA SOLOMON weaves together an unforgettable group of characters as their lives collide on the New England coast. Set against one of America’s most turbulent decades, it delves into questions of class, freedom, and the meaning of family.
As always, AUTHOR’S NIGHT is a FREE EVENT. The evening consists of a mixture of readings, talks and Q&A. An open bar is available for our patrons and copies of both author’s books will be available for purchase courtesy of Dick Haley of Haley Booksellers.
DINNER WITH THE AUTHORS
Join us after the talks are over for DINNER WITH THE AUTHORS. Continue the conversation over cocktails, appetizers, entrees and dessert. Food and beverages are a la carte, and there are no additional charges. We do, however, suggest that you make reservations in advance if you’d like to stay for dinner.
At once intimate and sweeping, Bottomland—the anticipated second novel from Michelle Hoover—follows the Hess family in the years after World War I as they attempt to rid themselves of the Anti-German sentiment that left a stain on their name. But when the youngest two daughters vanish in the middle of the night, the family must piece together what happened while struggling to maintain their life on the unforgiving Iowa plains.
“There are many compelling things about Michelle Hoover’s potent new novel, “Bottomland,” not least of all her austere style and its visceral punch….But what struck me repeatedly is the way Hoover’s story, set largely in the immediate wake of World War I, has so much contemporary resonance….
Part of the great pleasure of “Bottomland” is discovering where the story goes, always knowing that you’re in the hands of a writer who won’t disappoint.” — Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe
In the weeks after Esther and Myrle’s disappearance, their siblings desperately search for the sisters, combing the stark farmlands, their neighbors’ houses, and the unfamiliar world of far-off Chicago. Have the girls run away to another farm? Have they gone to the city to seek a new life? Or were they abducted? Ostracized, misunderstood, and increasingly isolated in their tightly-knit small town in the wake of the war, the Hesses fear the worst. Told in the voices of the family patriarch and his children, this is a haunting literary mystery that spans decades before its resolution. Hoover deftly examines the intrepid ways a person can forge a life of their own despite the dangerous obstacles of prejudice and oppression.
With exquisite lyricism and a powerful sense of place and character, Bottomland is a story of pride, love, and betrayal, set amongst the rugged terrain of Iowa, the fields of war-torn Flanders, and the bustling Chicago streets.
“LEAVING LUCY PEAR”
ONE NIGHT IN 1917….Beatrice Haven sneaks out of her uncle’s house on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, leaves her newborn baby at the foot of a pear tree, and watches as another woman claims the infant as her own. The unwed daughter of wealthy Jewish industrialists and a gifted pianist bound for Radcliffe, Bea plans to leave her shameful secret behind and make a fresh start. Ten years later, Prohibition is in full swing, post-WWI America is in the grips of rampant xenophobia, and Bea’s hopes for her future remain unfulfilled. She returns to her uncle’s house, seeking a refuge from her unhappiness. But she discovers far more when the rum-running manager of the local quarry inadvertently reunites her with Emma Murphy, the headstrong Irish Catholic woman who has been raising Bea’s abandoned child—now a bright, bold, cross-dressing girl named Lucy Pear, with secrets of her own.
In mesmerizing prose, award-winning author Anna Solomon weaves together an unforgettable group of characters as their lives collide on the New England coast. Set against one of America’s most turbulent decades, Leaving Lucy Pear delves into questions of class, freedom, and the meaning of family, establishing Anna Solomon as one of our most captivating storytellers.
Anna Solomon writes with a poet’s reverence for language and a novelist’s ability to keep us turning the page. Leaving Lucy Pear is a gorgeous and engrossing meditation on motherhood, womanhood, and the sacrifices we make for love. – J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN, New York Times bestselling author of Maine and The Engagements
ABOUT MICHELLE HOOVER
Michelle Hoover is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University and teaches at GrubStreet, where she leads the Novel Incubator program. She is a 2014 NEA Fellow and has been a Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University, a MacDowell Fellow, and a winner of the PEN/New England Discovery Award. Her debut, The Quickening, was a 2010 Massachusetts Book Award “Must Read.” Her latest novel, Bottomland, is the 2017 All Iowa Reads selection.
Michelle Hoover is currently the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University, where she teaches advanced Fiction workshops and works with students individually on honors and thesis projects. Previously, she taught writing for more than ten years at Boston University, and has also run undergraduate and graduate writing workshops at Emerson College, Bucknell University, Wellesley College, St. Olaf College, Smith College, UMass-Amherst, as well as the Cape Code, Wesleyan, and Bread Loaf Writers Conferences.
She is a native of Iowa and lives in Boston.
ABOUT ANNA SOLOMON
Anna Solomon is the author of Leaving Lucy Pear and The Little Bride and a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize. Her short fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in publications including The New York Times Magazine, One Story, Ploughshares, Slate, The Boston Globe, and MORE, and she is co-editor with Eleanor Henderson of Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers. Previously, Anna worked as an award-winning journalist for National Public Radio’s Living On Earth.
Anna holds degrees from Brown University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She was born and raised in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.