Authors In Real Life

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 »

“At Once Spectacular and Familiar” – Daniel Wallace and Grant Ginder on Creating Characters We Root For

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Don’t you love eavesdropping? We do. That’s why we connected authors Daniel Wallace and Grant Ginder and invited them to chat with each other over email and let us follow along. After all, who better to interview the writers of two fun summer reads — Extraordinary Adventures and The People We Hate at the Wedding — than the writers themselves? (We also love getting other people to do our work for us.)  Read the rest of this entry »

Authors in Real Life: Lisa Ko and Weike Wang

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(L-R: Lisa Ko and Weike Wang)

On the surface, The Leavers by Lisa Ko and Chemistry by Weike Wang are two very different books. The Leavers takes place over a decade, telling the story of a young man searching for his mother after being separated from her as a child in New York and raised by adoptive parents. It won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Award for Socially Engaged Fiction, a prize created and selected by Barbara Kingsolver. Chemistry gives us two years in the life of a high-achieving young scientist trying to make sense of all the parts of her life that don’t follow a formula: love, family, friendship, and career. It’s a coming-of-age romantic comedy that’s also deeply intelligent. Read the rest of this entry »

Amelia Gray’s New Novel, Isadora, Takes Readers Deep into the Madness of Loss

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Before she was known as the mother of modern dance, Isadora Duncan was a single mother of two young children, balancing her creative life with family life in Paris. In 1913, both children died in a freak accident, and Duncan’s world split forever into before and after. Her deep grief, mental unraveling, and struggle to regain her sanity are the basis for Amelia Gray’s new historical novel, Isadora. Read the rest of this entry »

Chuck Klosterman, The (Sort of) Reformed Multi-Tasker

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Chuck Klosterman is the bestselling author of seven books of nonfiction (make that eight now) and two novels. He solved moral dilemmas for The New York Times Magazine’s Ethicist column for three years, co-founded the website Grantland, and once appeared in a documentary. He has also contributed regularly to The Washington Post, GQ, Esquire, Spin, The Guardian, The Believer, Billboard, The A.V. Club, and ESPN. Over the last couple of decades, he has not only analyzed popular opinion on entertainment, sports, music, and philosophy; he has helped define it. Read the rest of this entry »

Grownup Conversation: Jami Attenberg Talks with Katy Simpson Smith

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When author Jami Attenberg moved from Brooklyn to New Orleans recently, she got to spend more time with writer-pal Katy Simpson Smith (author of Free Men, a Parnassus First Editions Club pick of 2016) — which worked out perfectly for us, because it gave Smith plenty of access to interview Attenberg about her new novel, All Grown Up. Read the rest of this entry »

Authors in Real Life: Michael Farris Smith

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“I love gritty — and this is the ultimate grit,” says Parnassus Book Clubs manager Kathy Schultenover. If you’ve been in the store when Kathy’s on duty lately, you’ve likely heard her pitch for Desperation Road, the new novel by Michael Farris Smith. She compares it to fiction by Tom Franklin, Ron Rash, William Gay, and Larry Brown — and says fans of True Detective would love it. Read the rest of this entry »