Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Announcing Two Big Literary Events, Both Free and In-Store--Jeffrey Eugenides and Sebastian Barry.

Originally today I was going to announce our big fall events that we've put together with other folks around the area, only now I think I should wait a few days to make sure I've got all my ducks in a row. Some of the venues will have $5 admission charges, and I don't want to make a mistake.

I'm also trying to put together a blog piece about Samuel Park's event for This Burns my Heart on September 7, but I don't have that quite done either.  So instead I should announce our two traditional in-store literary events.  Both are traditional, free, in-store events at non-traditional times. Both books have my booksellers all aflutter and are both likely to be shortlisted for a number of prizes.  At least one of them already is...

Saturday, October 1, 3 pm.
Who: Sebastian Barry
For what book: On Canaan's Side
Which is about about: 89 year old Lily Bere reflecting on life while contemplating death. Yes, it's one of my favorite genres, the deathbed novel!
Why this is so cool: Barry is one of the premiere Irish novelists alive, and he's been short-listed twice for the Man Booker Prize. I hereby declare him the favorite for this year's award. Did we ever host the Man Booker prize winning author at Schwartz, just before the win?  Yes we did, and the answer is at the bottom of the page.*
Why such an odd time: They are squeezing us in between Chicago and another city, and Barry's train doesn't get in early enough for our traditional 2 pm starting time.

Sunday, October 23, 12 Noon
Who: Jeffrey Eugenides
For what book: The Marriage Plot
Which is about: The jumping off point is three Brown students, but let's just say it travels around from there.  Here's perhaps my favorite PW quote of all time: "Eugenides's first novel since 2002's Pulitzer Prizewinning Middlesex so impressively, ambitiously breaks the mold of its predecessor that it calls for the founding of a new prize to recognize its success both as a noveland as a Jeffrey Eugenides novel."
Why this is so cool: Eugenides will win something for this book, or at least be shortlisted for a bunch of things.
Why such an odd time: Once again we are squeezed in, but in this case, we can thank General Mitchell. Hooray for direct flights to Toronto! Oh, and another thing, it's early in the day to avoid a Packer game at 3. Yes, Mr. Eugenides, you are back in the midwest.

Of course we have plenty of other wonderful events this fall, but these are two where you might want to do things like build your book club selection around the visit, or maybe even change the weekend that you are visiting your Aunt in Kewaskum.

*Jason remembered the answer, which was Kiran Desai.

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