Items tagged with Authors

Bestselling Author Elizabeth Kostova on Her Novel, "The Shadow Land"

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The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova, discusses her new novel The Shadow Land. A young American woman, Alexandra Boyd, has traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. Soon after arriving in this elegant East European city, however, she helps an elderly couple into a taxi—and realizes too late that she has accidentally kept one of their bags. Inside she finds an ornately carved wooden box engraved with a name: Stoyan Lazarov. Raising the hinged lid, she discovers that she is holding an urn filled with human ashes. So beings this novel that explores the power of stories, the pull of the past, and the hope and meaning that can sometimes be found in the aftermath of loss.

Interview with Joe Meyers of the CT Post.

"A compelling and complex mystery, strong storytelling, and lyrical writing combine for an engrossing read set in the former Soviet-bloc nation of Bulgaria."—Publishers Weekly

Elizabeth Kostova is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Historian, for which she won the 2006 Book Sense Award for Best Adult Fiction and the 2005 Quill Award for Debut Author of the Year, and The Swan Thieves. She graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for Novel-in-Progress.

Author photo credit Lynne Harty Photography

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Award-Winning Author Paul La Farge on His New Novel, The Night Ocean

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Award-winning author and New Yorker contributor Paul La Farge discusses The Night Ocean, his new novel about secrets and scandals, psychiatry and pulp fiction, which was inspired by the lives of H.P. Lovecraft and his circle. The Night Ocean follows the lives of some extraordinary people: Lovecraft, an influential American horror writer of the 20th century, whose stories continue to win new acolytes, even as his racist views provoke new critics; Barlow, a seminal scholar of Mexican culture who killed himself after being blackmailed for his homosexuality (and who collaborated with Lovecraft on the story "The Night Ocean"); his student, future Beat writer William S. Burroughs; and L.C. Spinks, a kindly Canadian appliance salesman and science-fiction fan—the only person who knows the origins of The Erotonomicon, purported to be the intimate diary of Lovecraft himself.

The Night Ocean has already been selected as a must-read by New York Post, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus and was named one of the best books of March, 2017 by Amazon, the BBC, Vulture, and The Chicago Review of Books.

"The Night Ocean is a book full of pleasures... Dashing, playful and cleverly imagined, “The Night Ocean” emerges as an inexhaustible shaggy monster, part literary parody, part case study of the slipperiness of narrative and the seduction of a good story. Sunday New York Times book review, March 7, 2017.

Leonard Lopate Show, NPR interview on March 8.

New Yorker article, "The Complicated Friendship of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert Barlow, One of His Biggest Fans" 

“The breadth of La Farge’s research and the specificity of his historical details are impressive: we enter the worlds of science-fiction fandom, internet trolls, literary hoaxes, and ancient Mexican civilizations as [he] deftly weaves in famous figures like H.P Lovecraft, Isaac Asimov, and William S. Burroughs. Only a virtuoso could pull off a story so intricately plotted and so full of big ideas about morality and truth…La Farge is this virtuoso, folding stories inside stories with ease…. An effortlessly memorable novel.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Magnificent... An impossible, irresistible novel, a love letter to the unlovable that speaks the unspeakable.” — Lev Grossman, author of the Magicians trilogy

Paul La Farge is the author of four novels: The Night Ocean, The Artist of the Missing, Haussmann, or the Distinction and Luminous Airplanes; and a book of imaginary dreams, The Facts of Winter. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Bard Fiction Prize, and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. He was a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library in 2013-14. 

Author photo credit Carol Shadford

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Roni Beth Tower on Her Memoir, Miracle at Midlife, in Conversation with Sybil Steinberg

October 17, 2016
Roni Beth Tower

Former Westporter Roni Beth Tower spoke about her memoir, Miracle at Midlife, with Sybil Steinberg, Publishers Weeklycontributing editor at the Westport Library on October 17, 2016. 

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Blending Families

October 25, 2016
Blending Families

Licensed marriage and family therapist Trevor Crow Mullineaux speaks about her book Blending Families: Merging Households with Kids 8–18 and addresses year-round strategies as well as specific tips for holidays on October 25, 2016 at the Westport Library.

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Healing Through Art & Words: Five Authors Discuss 9/11 and Coping with Tragedy Through a Writer's Lens

September 12, 2016
Healing Through Art & Words

Authors Nora Baskin (nine, ten: a 9/11 Story), Gae Polisner (The Memory of Things), Jewell Parker Rhodes (Towers Falling), Wendy Mills (All We Have Left) and Lauren Tarshis (I Survived series) discussed coping with tragedy through a writer’s lens and their new books for middle grades and young adults at the Westport Library on September 12, 2016. 

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POSTPONED: NYT Bestselling Author Jane Green on Her Cookbook, Good Taste

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Event postponed to Thursday, February 23 at 7 pm due to the snowy weather forecast for February 9.

Meet novelist Jane Green as she shares her passion for all things food and entertaining and her cookbook, Good Taste. In the midst of her successful career which includes 17 New York Times bestsellers and more than 10 million copies of her books in print, she trained as a chef at the International Culinary Center. The desire for more technical training grew out of a lifetime of experience creating recipes, cooking for family and friends, and entertaining at home. Home and family are at the heart of every beloved Jane Green novel—whether set in a ramshackle cottage, a chic city apartment, a weathered beach bungalow, or a stately manor. And they also take center stage in Good Taste. Light refreshments; register online. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Author photo credit Tom McGovern

For Green, meals are a celebration, opportunities to spend time with the special people in her life and to nourish them—body and soul. In Good Taste, she shares tips on entertaining, ideas for making any gathering a cozy and classy affair, and some of her favorite dishes—from starters like Sweet Corn and Chili Soup to one-pot mains like Slow-Braised Onion Chicken to desserts like Warm Chocolate and Banana Cake and Jane’s Chess Tart.

Jane Green is the author of eighteen novels, of which seventeen are New York Times Bestsellers, including her latest, Falling. Previous novels have included The Beach House, Second Chance, Jemima J  and Tempting Fate.

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POSTPONED: Former NCIS Agent Mark Fallon on his Book, Unjustifiable Means

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Due to publishing delays, this talk is postponed. Check back later for the new date.

Former NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) special agent and Homeland Security executive Mark Fallon discusses Unjustifiable Means: The Inside Story of How the CIA, Pentagon, and US Government Conspired to Torture. Hear about the decision to implement “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques,” and the backchannels and deception employed to legalize these methods and hide them from the public’s view. Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Bill Dedman, co-author of Empty Mansions, will introduce Mark Fallon.

An international security consultant, Mark Fallon spent more than 30 years as a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), counterintelligence officer, counterterrorism operative, undercover agent, asset handler and law enforcement specialist. A senior ranking member of the Department of Homeland Security under the Bush administration, he has been involved in some of the most significant counterterrorism operations in US history. He has earned numerous honors and awards for his service.

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Author Dan Slater on "Wolf Boys," the True Story of Life with the Mexican Drug Cartel

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Former legal affairs reporter Dan Slater discusses Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico's Most Dangerous Drug Cartel, the true story of two American teenagers recruited as killers for a Mexican cartel. One of the boys is Gabriel Cardona, a fifteen-year-old who trades promising grades and a spot on the football team to join the ranks of would-be assassins for the militant Los Zetas cartel. In his pursuit is Detective Robert Garcia, a Mexican-born Laredo, TX detective whose determination to capture Gabriel plunges him into one of the deadliest wars in modern history. Cardona’s evolution from good natured teenager to feared killer is as heartbreaking as Garcia's slow realization of the futile nature of his work. Read this in-depth analysis: New Yorker article, "The Teen Killers of the Drug War"

Slater deftly weaves together the implications of cartel economics, international trade, corruption, juvenile crime, and the lure of the underworld. His extensive interviews and correspondence with the principle characters take readers deep into the heart of the Mexican drug trade, telling the wild and intimate story of the young foot soldiers who fight and die in the cartel wars. Sony/TriStar Pictures has optioned film rights with Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) attached to direct.

A lawyer-turned-writer, Dan Slater is a former legal affairs reporter for The Wall Street Journal and has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, New York magazine, The Atlantic, GQ and Fast Company. He is the author of Wolf Boys and Love in the Time of Algorithms. A graduate of Colgate University and Brooklyn Law School, he lives in New England.

Author photo credit SophieSlater.

NPR author interview.

New Yorker review.

“Raw, gut-wrenching…A must-read for fans of true crime and investigative journalism.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“A solid and popular addition to every library’s true-crime shelf…delivers a thorough portrait of the illicit drug trade that currently flourishes on the U.S.-Mexico border…The gore factor is not titillating or overly gruesome. Instead, the deadening of human feeling it signifies is devastating.”—Booklist (starred review)

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WestportREADS 2017: Keynote Talk with Author George Hodgman

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Hear writer and editor George Hodgman when he talks about the WestportREADS 2017 selection Bettyville. This critically-acclaimed memoir relates with wit and tenderness a son's journey from New York City to care for his irascible mother in his Missouri hometown. Register online. Note: Location changed to Saugatuck Congregational Church, 245 Post Road East.

George Hodgman is a veteran magazine and book editor who has worked at Simon & Schuster, Vanity Fair and Talk magazine. His writing has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Interview, W and Harper’s Bazaar, among other publications. He lives in New York City and Paris, Missouri.

More about the book: When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay. As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair.

Bettyville was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and a Books-A-Million President’s Pick, and it was selected as a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, Entertainment Weekly, NPR’s Fresh Air and Library Journal. The New York Times called Bettyville “a most remarkable, laugh-out-loud book,” NPR’s Maureen Corrigan named it “this year’s must-read dispatch from the frontlines of caretaking,” and a reviewer for the Chicago Tribune wrote that it “will be seen, even years from now, as the quintessential book on taking care…When I want to be reminded of the genius of decency, I will return to these words.” You can hear George interviewed on Fresh Air here, or watch his PBS Newshour interview here.

WestportREADS is funded by the estate of Jerry A. Tishman.

Talks & Readings, WestportREADS

WestportWRITES: YA Lit Fest

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Meet first-time Young Adult (YA) literature authors Carrie Firestone (The Loose Ends List), Karen Fortunati (The Weight of Zero), Shannon Parker (The Girl Who Fell) and Rebecca Podos (The Mystery of Hollow Places). They will speak about their debut novels, their writing inspiration, and about the publishing process. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Grades 6-adult. Registration is free and includes coffee. Register online.
Carrie Firestone's debut novel is The Loose Ends List. She has lived in rural, urban, and suburban places, and, while she currently lives in the suburbs, she is decidedly a CITY person. When she isn’t writing, you might find her reluctantly sharing her popcorn at the movies, trying to get people (or dogs) to do a conga line, or adding items to her loose ends list.

Karen Fortunati’s debut YA novel, The Weight of Zero, was released in October 2016 by Delacorte/Random House. It's been named an Indies Introduce title, a Barnes and Noble 2016 Most Anticipated Debut, an Amazon Editors Favorite YA Book for Fall and was featured in the September issue of Seventeen Magazine's "What Hot This Month." Karen is currently working on her second novel and finishing her master's thesis at Trinity College.

Shannon M. Parker is the YA author of The Girl Who Fell, chosen as one of Amazon's Top 20 YA Books (so far) in 2016. Her sophomore YA release, The Rattled Bones, is due out from Simon & Schuster in August of 2017. Shannon is an educator and adoption advocate, as well as a contributing author to Welcome Home: A YA Anthology on Adoption, due out from Jolly Fish Press in September, 2017.

Rebecca Podos' debut YA novel, The Mystery of Hollow Places, is a Junior Library Guild Selection, receiving starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist and BCCB (Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books.) Her second novel, Like Water, is due out Fall 2017 from Balzer + Bray. Rebecca works as a YA and MG agent at the Rees Literary Agency in Boston.

Community partner: Fairfield County Writers' Studio

This event is a part of WestportWRITES, a comprehensive new library program designed to guide writers through all stages of publishing. Look for more WestportWRITES programming throughout the year.

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Authors, Teen