Authors In Real Life

Still Knocking Down Obstacles: Jovan Haye on His Inspiring Book Tour

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A couple of weeks ago, on a Thursday night, our store was packed — standing room only — with people who wanted to meet Jovan Haye, the author of Bigger Than Me: How a Boy Conquered Dyslexia to Play in the NFL. The crowd included adults, kids, football fans, and families associated with a local chapter of Decoding Dyslexia, an organization that aims to increase access to educational interventions for dyslexia-related learning differences. Read the rest of this entry »

Judging Books by Their Covers with Karen Joy Fowler

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Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves was the pick this month for a city-wide reading experience called Nashville Reads. (It’s also up for the PEN/Faulkner award and was named a Best of 2013 pick by The New York TimesSlateChicago TribuneLibrary Journal, and BookPage, among others. Obviously we’re not the only ones who liked it.) Originally published in America last summer, it’s now being released in the UK and in the US as a paperback. As we admire the colorful variety of these three editions, Fowler talks with Musing about book covers — her own and others — that have left an impression on her.

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Playlist: Meg Wolitzer, Walking in New York

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photo via Unsplash

It’s such fun to discover that someone who’s a master in one field has talents that spill over to another creative area. Take novelist Meg Wolitzer, for example. The author of nine books — including The Position, The Wife, The Uncoupling, and her latest, now out in paperback, The Interestings — she also has a passion for music. She’s been known to sing along with her friend Suzzy Roche, singer/songwriter with the group The Roches and author of the book Wayward Saints. In fact, last fall the two served as guest professors at Princeton, where they taught the music- and storytelling-themed course, Stories to Stage, Words, and Song: A Study in Adaptation.

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Reading (and Writing) Through Fear

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Claire Cameron - photo by Nancy Friedland

Claire Cameron, photo by Nancy Friedland

In 1991, at Algonquin Park in Ontario, a couple camping overnight were attacked and partially eaten by a black bear. The incident was so unusual, so disturbing, that it captivated local attention. It also captured the imagination of Claire Cameron, who was working as a canoe guide in the park that year.  Read the rest of this entry »

Matthew Quick Puts on the “Mask of Fiction” Again

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Matthew Quick photo by Alicia Bessette

Matthew Quick creates characters to whom we might not expect to relate. Often marked as “crazy” by those around them, his oddball protagonists (think Pat Peoples in The Silver Linings Playbook) say out loud – and act upon – thoughts many of us have had, if perhaps kept inside.

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Anna Quindlen on What She’s Reading (and What Drives Her Nuts on Downton Abbey)

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You might call Ann Quindlen a trendsetter.

Before countless bloggers started chronicling their lives online, she was keeping up a steady stream of writing about life, home, and family – blended with opinions on cultural and political trends – in “Public and Private,” her Pulitzer Prize-winning column in The New York Times. Long before Buzzfeed began feeding us daily listicles on every subject imaginable, Quindlen was publishing her own top-10s (such as “10 Mystery Novels I’d Most Like to Find in a Summer Rental”) in How Reading Changed My Life. And since before social media ever existed, she has made a habit of noticing how people stay connected (and don’t) in relationships. Read the rest of this entry »

Will Greg Heffley Ever Grow Up? “Wimpy Kid” Author Jeff Kinney Considers His Most Famous Character’s Future

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Last week, crowds gathered at Ensworth School to help Parnassus Books welcome Jeff Kinney, bestselling author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, who spoke about his work, his characters, and his latest book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck. We learned that readers young and old love to recount the story of Kinney’s early career, when — after his dream of becoming a newspaper cartoonist fizzled — he turned his fate around, taking the drawings critics had called “too childlike” and putting them into a new (and perfect) context: the diary of a fictional middle schooler. Read the rest of this entry »