Attention all readers and writers: We’ve got a really special event planned for Wednesday, January 15, at 7pm in the Robbins Library Community Room. Three (3) authors will be here at the library, reading from their new books, talking about writing, and answering questions from you, the audience.
In a post here a month ago, I introduced those three authors, Kim Triedman, Ron MacLean, and Julie Wu. Now, here’s a little bit about each of their most recent books.
The Other Room by Kim Triedman: Three years after the death of their 1-year-old daughter, Josef and Claudia remain trapped in a spiral of grief in Triedman’s debut novel. Pulling away from each other out of unspoken blame and guilt, both seek refuge elsewhere; Josef begins an affair with a nurse at the hospital where he’s a surgeon and Claudia fantasizes about her therapist, Stuart, the only person with whom she shares her raw emotions. Looming throughout the novel is the Thanksgiving dinner that Claudia and Josef will share with Claudia’s father and her sister, Yvonne-a family gathering that will force the two out of their spheres of isolation….Competitive since childhood, Yvonne and Claudia clash as Yvonne fruitlessly tries to hide her unhappiness with her own family and her frustration with Claudia for remaining paralyzed by grief. Proclaiming, “One death should never cost this many lives,” Yvonne expresses the novel’s central theme of loss reverberating throughout a family. Through her sparse prose Triedman conveys this sense of inexorable emptiness that accompanies great loss. —Publishers Weekly review
Headlong by Ron MacLean: …A politically charged workers’ strike seems to set off a chain of criminal events—a brutal home invasion, beatings, suspicious accidents, escalating Occupy-style protests, and other messier, increasingly violent acts. Nick [a 40-something former journalist] finds himself in the thick of it. But is it all really connected? And who should be held accountable: the greedy corporate concerns, the strikers and their union, or the fringe activist groups that flock to the escalating conflict? Nick revives his rusty investigative skills in search of answers, eventually rebooting both his career and self-esteem. But, as the tension mounts, he questions his own ethical stance at every turn….This self-deprecating, often funny first-person account of an increasingly dangerous adventure is provocative and utterly believable… —Kirkus review, excerpted
The Third Son by Julie Wu: Growing up in Japanese-occupied Taiwan, Saburo feels rejected by his family. He finds love with Yoshiko, and, after their marriage, he leaves her and their baby son to find them a home in the U.S., but it takes years to get a college education and find work in Michigan, which will allow him to bring his loved ones to join him. The 1950s political history is always in the background the aftermath of the occupation, the Chinese nationalist takeover but it is the personal story that drives the narrative: the family fights, Saburo’s suffering as the unwanted child, his rage at his older brother’s privilege, and, in contrast, the tenderness of his relationship with his wife and child. The wry humor will also hold readers: he finally gets a job teaching what he knows nothing about, barely one chapter ahead of his students. And there is no slick reconciliation; his father’s visit to America intensifies the fury on both sides. Rooted in time and culture, Wu’s debut novel opens up the family immigrant story with no sweet resolution after leaving home. —Booklist review
Don’t miss the chance to hear three local authors speak! Come a few minutes early to get a seat.