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Posts Tagged ‘Emily Dickinson’

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This week’s “3 Questions” features Lauren Groff,  bestselling author of the novels The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia and Fates and Furies, and the short story collection Delicate Edible Birds. Ms. Groff has won the PEN/O’Henry Prize, and was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Ms. Groff’s most recent novel is Florida, of which the critics have said, “Storms, snakes, sinkholes, and secrets: In Lauren Groff’s Florida, the hot sun shines, but a wild darkness lurks. Florida is a “superlative” book” – Boston Globe, “gorgeously weird and limber”  – New Yorker,  and “brooding, inventive and often moving” – NPR Fresh Air. Ms. Groff lives with her family in Gainesville, Florida, but will be reading on July 19th (with Fairlee resident and author Christopher Wren) as part of The Meetinghouse Readings in Canaan. These readings are held at 7:30 p.m. on four Thursday evenings in July and early August, and are free and open to the public; no reservations needed. Please call 802-649-1114 or email info@norwichbookstore.com with questions and/or to secure your copies of Ms. Groff’s works.

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1.What three books have helped shape you into the writer you are today, and why?
​Emily Dickinson’s Collected Poems taught me to love poetry and enigma. George Eliot’s Middlemarch ​is a book I reread every year to remind myself what wisdom and warmth look like in a novel. Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red taught me that writers should risk everything because the reward ​ can be so thrilling.

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2.What author (living or dead) would you most like to have a cup of coffee with and why?
​I’d love to have a cup of coffee with Virginia Woolf to try to understand the brain that could write a book so colossal and world-rearranging as To The Lighthouse.

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3.What books are currently on your bedside table?
​I’m in a renovated barn in Orford, New Hampshire with so little furniture there’s no bedside table. But I’m doing a large project on the largely forgotten writer Nancy Hale and am reading all of her books right now. [Editor’s note: Ms. Hale’s books are unfortunately out of print so you wont find them at the Norwich Bookstore.]

As part of our mission to promote authors, the joy of reading, and to better understand the craft of writing, The Book Jam has paired with the The Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont to present an ongoing series entitled “3 Questions”. In it, we pose three questions to authors with upcoming visits to the bookstore. Their responses are posted on The Book Jam during the days leading up to their engagement. Our hope is that this exchange will offer insight into their work and will encourage readers to attend these special author events and read their books.

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This “3 Questions” features Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and other novels.


Mr. Maguire will be visiting the Norwich Bookstore at 7 pm on Wednesday, December 9th to discuss his latest book,  After Alice.  In it, Mr. Maguire spins Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland into a tale about Ada’s (a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Carroll’s story) quest to find Alice and see her safely home from Wonderland. Or, as a Kirkus Reviews stated, After Alice is “a brilliant and nicely off-kilter reading of the children’s classic, retrofitted for grown-ups, and a lot of fun.”

The event with Mr. Maguire is free and open to the public. However, reservations are recommended as space is limited.  Call 802-649-1114 or email info@norwichbookstore.com to save your seat.

  1. What books have helped shape you into the author you are today, and why?

The Once and Future King, because T H  White bravely took the story of King Arthur and decided to tell it all over again as if it had never been told before (by, say, Malory, and Chretien de Troyes, etc). After the fact I realized this book was my prototype and encouragement at trying to do something similar in Wicked.

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  1. What author (living or dead) would you most like to have a cup of coffee with and why?

Ah, but did Emily Dickinson drink coffee? “I taste a liquor never brewed / from Tankards scooped in Pearl.”  “Not all the Vats upon the Rhine / Yield such an Alcohol!”  “Water is taught by thirst.” I guess I would have to pass over good old Emily, who professed that her eyes were like the color of the sherry in the glass that the guest leaves behind (did she drain that goblet after the door closed?). Since coffeehouses were in vogue at the time he was alive, I feel safer proposing that I would like to have coffee with Franz Mesmer, who pioneered hypnotism, to see if I could ferret out how much he was a charlatan and how much a psychologist. He is showing up in a book I’m working on now though he wasn’t invited. Coffee makes people nervy, doesn’t it?

  1. What books are currently on your bedside table?

Anna Karenina.  Stalled at page 166 and may never be finished.  Selected Poems of Robert Lowell. And Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, sent me by a friend as a “must read NOW!” It’s been there a little bit but I will get to it when now finally becomes NOW!

 

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