Authors In Real Life

How Do You Get Your Life Together When the World Is Falling Apart? Ling Ma’s New Novel, Severance

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At the beginning of Ling Ma’s debut novel, Severance, Candace Chen is too distracted by office politics and her relationship with her boyfriend to focus on the mysterious illness decimating the human population. Then, for a while, she’s in denial. Long after her colleagues become ill and disappear, she continues to show up at the New York publishing house where she works in the division that produces Bibles. When Candace finally faces facts, she must decide what to do next. Suspenseful, darkly funny, and often deeply touching, Severance tells the story of her journey toward an uncertain future. Read the rest of this entry »

This Book Is On Fire: The Incendiaries

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To fully grasp the magnitude of R.O. Kwon’s debut novel, The Incendiaries, being named the #1 Indie Next pick for August, you first have to understand what the Indie Next List is. Containing just 20 titles each month, it comprises the most highly recommended new books, as nominated by independent booksellers nationwide. Considering how much bookstore staffers read (not to mention how many hundreds of books are published each month), making it into the top 20 really sets a book apart. Kwon has landed not just on the list but in the highest spot — and with her first book, a short, unusual, and entrancing novel about a young couple pulled together by love and apart by religion. Read the rest of this entry »

Former Times Book Critic Asks: What Happened to Truth?

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When Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani left her post as the chief book critic for The New York Times after 38 years, Vanity Fair declared, “The novelists of the world will sleep a little easier tonight.” It was the end of an era. Readers who had grown up with Kakutani’s book coverage — and whose tastes had evolved under the guidance of her insightful, impassioned (and sometimes brutal) reviews — wondered what she’d do next.

The answer? Write her own book, of course. Read the rest of this entry »

Faith and Family at a Crossroads: Southernmost by Silas House

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Nashville-based writer Jeff Zentner contributes today’s interview of Silas House, author of the new novel Southernmost.

I’ve been a huge Silas House fan ever since reading his novel Clay’s Quilt on the recommendation of an author friend. Nobody writes the varied landscapes — physical, emotional, and cultural — of the American South quite like he does. From the buzzsaw thrum of cicadas on a stifling summer night, to the gray smell of stones cooled in river water, to the beads of condensation on a pitcher of sweet tea, to a quiet moment of connection between a father and a son, the heart of this place beats in his books. Read the rest of this entry »

How SCBWI Helps Launch Careers: A Conversation with Four Authors

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Audiences at our author events are often made up of not only avid readers but also aspiring writers and illustrators. When those folks raise their hands to ask the inevitable questions — “Where did you get your start? What should I do next?” — the answer is commonly a tongue-twisting abbreviation: SCBWI. It stands for the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, an international organization with regional chapters offering conferences, education, and networking for people at all levels of experience in making books for young people. Some of our favorite Nashville writers and illustrators, including Ruta Sepetys, David Arnold, Susan Eaddy, and Jessica Young, credit SCBWI with playing an integral role in their creative development and success. Read the rest of this entry »

“A Time of Firsts” — Meg Wolitzer on Her New Novel, The Female Persuasion

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A recent profile on novelist Meg Wolitzer in The New York Times noted that “at a time when our attention is so easily splintered, [Wolitzer] writes big, substantial, old-fashioned books that allow her characters room to breathe, change and grow into adulthood and beyond.” While Wolitzer’s 10th novel, The Female Persuasion, may feel retro in size and scope, read it and you’ll see it delves into themes both timeless and contemporary. Read the rest of this entry »

Her Voice, At Last: Authors Madeline Miller and Victoria Schwab Discuss Miller’s New Novel, Circe

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We’ve admired Madeline Miller’s work since she made her debut with the highly acclaimed novel The Song of Achilles. In fact, we loved the spellbinding tale so much that we chose it for our very first Signed First Editions Club selection. As it happens, we were just as blown away by Miller’s second book, Circeso we couldn’t resist picking it as a First Editions Club favorite, too.  Read the rest of this entry »

Jason Reynolds and David Arnold: An Interview For Every One

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Jason Reynolds believes kids who think they hate reading “don’t actually hate books, they hate boredom.” So he has made a pledge to his young readers: never to write boring books. His plan is working so well that not only have his novels become favorites among kids and teens everywhere, but they’ve been honored so many times we can’t fit all the awards in this intro (a Newbery Honor, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, to name just a few). Lucky for Nashville, Reynolds is coming to Parnassus on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, to celebrate of the release of his two newest books: Sunny and For Every One. Read the rest of this entry »

Katrina Kenison on the Best Friend She Hasn’t Met (Yet), Anna Quindlen

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Anna Quindlen will discuss her new novel, Alternate Side, next Wednesday, March 28, 2018, with fellow author Katrina Kenison, who contributes today’s guest post. 

I have been having a lively conversation in my mind with Anna Quindlen for about 25 years. She’s my wiser, funnier best friend — albeit the one I’ve never actually met. Still, I’m pretty sure if we were neighbors we’d get together to walk our dogs every morning and compare notes on what’s going on in the world, what we’re making for dinner, and what we’re reading and thinking and worrying about. (I’m also pretty sure every other Anna Quindlen fan feels exactly the same way I do. To read Anna Quindlen is to wish she lived next door.) Read the rest of this entry »

A Robot Gone Wild Returns to Civilization

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Roz the robot embraced the wild world of nature in one of our favorite novels for independent young readers, Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot. In the sequel, The Wild Robot Escapes, Roz faces a new challenge: adapting back to the world of machines and civilization. How will she adjust? And will she make it back to the island she now considers home?
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