“Fiction becomes interesting when a line is crossed,” said author Rebecca Makkai during the first public lecture of the 16th Annual Writers’ Workshop on October 3.
In her lecture Ms. Makkai addressed how she came up with the idea for her award-winning first novel, The Borrower, which is centered on the relationship between rebellious librarian Lucy Hall and 10-year-old book lover Ian Drake, whose parents are forcing him to attend weekly anti-gay classes. Kidnapping, followed by a road trip from Missouri to Vermont, and references to classic children’s texts are all facets of the plot in Ms. Makkai’s novel. Continue reading
Patricia McCormick doesn’t pick the lightest fare to write about. Topics of her award-winning novels have included self-harm, teenage substance abuse, sexual slavery, and Cambodian genocide.
In an introduction to her fellow author on October 7, Madeleine Blais P’00, ’04 recounted how Ms. McCormick’s son once asked, “Where do you come up with your ideas for books, Mom? What do you do, Google the word sad?”
Yet, Ms. Blais said that of the people she knows, Ms. McCormick is one of the upbeat and optimistic—sharing a quality of all good writers: a deep and abiding belief that stories matter.
“She gave you a very good summary of the books,” agreed Ms. McCormick. “They are sad, but they all have a redemptive quality.”
The 14th Writers’ Workshop Series continues with author Andre Dubus III on October 11, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in the Dodge Room of the Reed Campus Center.
Andre Dubus III is the author of a collection of short fiction, The Cage Keeper and Other Stories; the novels Bluesman, House of Sand and Fog, and The Garden of Last Days; and a memoir, Townie. Published in 20 languages and made into an Academy Award-nominated motion picture, House of Sand and Fog was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Booksense Book of the Year. It was also an Oprah Book Club Selection and reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Dubus has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Magazine Award for fiction, and the Pushcart Prize. He is a member of PEN American Center, has served as a panelist for The National Book Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts, and has taught at Harvard University, Tufts University, Emerson College, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell where he is a full-time faculty member.
The Williston Northampton School’s Writers’ Workshop Series will host author Debra Monroe for a public presentation on Thursday, October 7, at 7:00 p.m. in the Dodge Room of the Reed Campus Center. This event is free and the public is welcome.
Declared “required reading” by Vanity Fair and picked by People Magazine and Salon.com, Monroe’s memoir On the Outskirts of Normal: Forging a Family Against the Grain tells an unsentimental story about a white woman who adopts a black baby in small town Texas. Published in June 2010, it has since been on the “Top 10 Books to Pick Up” in O: the Oprah Magazine.
The 13th Writers’ Workshop Series series kicks off with author Suzanne Strempek Shea on September 29, 2010, 7:00 p.m. in the Dodge Room in the Reed Campus Center. Winner of the 2000 New England Book Award, Suzanne Strempek Shea is the author of three memoirs and five novels, including Selling the Lite of Heaven, Hoopi Shoopi Donna, and Lily of the Valley.