Authors In Real Life

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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Min Jin Lee, author of Pachinko, on identity, history, and “the defiant strength of those who resist”

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Today’s guest post is by Steve Haruch of and Humanities Tennessee. 

There is a Korean concept known as han, which is widely considered untranslatable. The Los Angeles Times once called it “as amorphous a notion as love or hate: intensely personal, yet carried around collectively, a national torch, a badge of suffering tempered by a sense of resiliency.” Min Jin Lee’s most recent novel, Pachinko, never mentions the word han. But in its beguiling and nuanced way, it is at once a kind of scrolling, epic illustration of the concept and a tender, heartrending rebuke of the notion that any sort of unifying identity, across time and diaspora, can ever be easily described or distilled. Read the rest of this entry »

Miracle, Secret, or Hoax? An Interview with Novelist Jonathan Miles

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What would you do if a miracle happened to you? That’s the question behind Anatomy of a Miracle, the new novel from author Jonathan Miles (Dear American Airlines, Want Not) and this month’s selection for our First Editions Club. Read the rest of this entry »

Great Books About the Great Beyond: The Immortalists and The Afterlives

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Thanks to a slew of recent books, thinking about death can actually be quite pleasant — at least as the reading experience goes. In the past couple of years, some of our most popular nonfiction titles have dealt beautifully with end-of-life realities (When Breath Becomes Air, Being Mortal, The Bright Hour, Dying: A Memoir). Now 2018 greets us with imaginative, haunting — even funny — fiction writing that explores mortality and how we humans accept (or don’t) the certainty of it. First up, these two excellent novels: The Afterlives by Thomas Pierce and The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. Read the rest of this entry »

Leigh Bardugo Interviews YA Legend Tamora Pierce

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Author Tamora Pierce made a name creating trailblazing heroines long before “strong female protagonist” became a YA buzzword and a way to bank millions at the box office. Her pioneering stories earned her the Margaret A. Edwards’ Award for her “significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens,” the American Library Association’s highest honor for young adult writers. Many of today’s most well-regarded and bestselling YA writers also consider Pierce’s books something of a touchstone.  Read the rest of this entry »

Tom Hanks: “God gave all of us burdens, and some of us typewriters”

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When we at Parnassus got hold of an early copy of Uncommon Type, Tom Hanks’ debut collection of short stories, we passed it around and fell in love. Brimming with nostalgia, with an empathetic and observant eye for what makes us all human, these stories reveal Hanks’ talent and skill for bringing characters vividly to life on the page, just as he does on the screen. Read the rest of this entry »