Authors In Real Life

The Debut Novel that Packs Love, Loss, and Heart-stopping Drama into Just 260 Pages

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How’s this for an endorsement: When Michiko Kakutani, the famed and feared book critic at The New York Times, decided to step down from her post after 38 years, she chose Stay With Me, the debut novel by Nigerian writer Ayobami Adebayo, for her final review. She called it “stunning” and “entirely fresh.” Read the rest of this entry »

Ann Powers Spins the Sexy Soundtrack of Our Nation’s History

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This week’s contender for Best New Book Title is . . . drumroll, please . . . Good Booty. (It’s fun to say, isn’t it?) To understand what it’s about, you should probably know that the author, NPR music critic Ann Powers, gave it subtitle, too: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music.  Read the rest of this entry »

What Tom Perrotta Watches, Listens To, and Thinks About When He’s Not Writing Bestselling Fiction

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Tom Perrotta caught the attention of readers everywhere with his novels Little Children and Election, both of which were made into Oscar-nominated films. He was already a household/bookstore name by the time he wrote The Leftovers, which was adapted into a Peabody Award-winning HBO series. Some Perrotta readers swear their favorite of his novels is Bad Haircut, The Wishbones, Joe College, The Abstinence Teacher, or Nine Inches. The point is: lots of people have been eagerly awaiting today’s publication of his latest novel, Mrs. Fletcher, and for good reason. Read the rest of this entry »

Aftercare Instructions: Bonnie Pipkin Discusses Her New YA Novel with Estelle Laure

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The ParnassusNext YA subscription box selection this month is Aftercare Instructions, the debut YA novel by Bonnie Pipkin. The story centers on a girl named Genesis, who is abandoned by her boyfriend at a Planned Parenthood immediately following an abortion, and her ensuing journey of self-discovery. Fellow YA author Estelle Laure (This Raging Light, But Then I Came Back) interviewed Pipkin about the soul of the book and its subject matter — a topic that’s often hard for people to talk about. Read the rest of this entry »

Uncomfortable Stories: Matthew Quick Tells Courtney C. Stevens About His New Novel

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Matthew Quick’s The Reason You’re Alive sits up front on the staff-picks shelf at Parnassus — as has every adult book he has written since The Silver Linings Playbook. In this new novel, Quick applies his trademark mix of poignancy and humor to unpack the history of an outspoken Vietnam veteran named David Granger, who’s searching for resolution to some burning questions after undergoing brain surgery. BookPage calls the story a “scorching family drama” and its narrator what you’d get “if Holden Caulfield grew up to be a reflective, even soulful, Archie Bunker.” Read the rest of this entry »

What Book Club Feels Like . . . When You’re the Author

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Author Anton DiSclafani at a book event for The After Party (at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Georgia), with a small, handsome helper.

Anton DiSclafani’s novels are book-club gold — the stories so rich with secrets and betrayals, the characters so complex and real. Both The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls and The After Party practically beg the question, “What would you have done in her shoes?” We can’t wait to talk with DiSclafani when she joins us in person for Parnassus Book Club on July 17. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Keep Writing (Even If You Have a Day Job): 5 Tips from Novelist Jennifer Close

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Readers know Jennifer Close as the author of several novels, including one of our staff-favorite summer reads, The Hopefuls — the juicy and entertaining story of a friendship between two couples with political ambitions. Her students and fellow academics, however, know her as their creative writing professor at George Washington University in Washington, DC. So we thought she’d be the perfect person to answer a question we hear often from aspiring writers at author discussions: In a world of distractions and day-jobs, how do you get a book written? Read the rest of this entry »