Monday, February 13, 2012

What's Going On at Boswell This Week--Vyleta, Fox, and Dubus.

In addition to our To Kill a Mockingbird event with Mary McDonagh Murphy and Deborah Staples, featured in Sunday's post, we have three great author events coming up later in the week.

On Wednesday, February 15, we're featuring Dan Vyleta, UWM assistant professor, author of the novel The Quiet Twin. Finally out in the United States, the book was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers Trust Prize when released in Canada. Canadian by citizenship, he is the son of Czech parents who emigrated to Germany in the late 1960s, and also spent time in the UK, where he completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge.

Set in 1930s Austria as the Nazis came to power (the same setting as the nonfiction memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes),  it focuses on Dr. Beer, who follows the deviant methods of Dr. Freud, who has taken on as a patient, Zucka, the niece of Dr. Speckstein. Speckstein holds power as a Nazi informer, and coerces Beer into investigating a string of local murders, hoping Freudian analysis can unlock the mystery. But then it turns out nothing is quite as it seems.

The story The Independent called The Quiet Twin a sharp and engaging literary thriller, while The National Post offered that "Vyleta’s second novel is truly a work of art; his deft manipulation of narrative and characters (and readers), a master class in psychological sleight of hand."

Vyleta's first novel Pavel and I is also getting its paperback release in the United States, on February 28. I'm unsure of what use a two-week delay will be. When it was first published in 2008, the book received much praise, such as this from The Edmonton Journal: "Vyleta's startling debut is an impeccably constructed spy thriller, one of those old-fashioned page-turners that might be devoured at one sitting. Think The Good German meets The Third Man, or perhaps Oliver Twist conjoined with Ian McEwan's The Innocent."

Yes, Vyleta's last stop before Milwaukee was apparently Edmonton, sort of a Milwaukee-like city that I mostly think of as the setting for many of Carol Shields's novels (and because I am who I am, was once the home of Canada's Hudson's Bay Company and is the present home of what is said to be one of Canada's best bookstores, McNally Jackson.)


Our other two events have already had featured posts in this blog.

On Thursday, February 16, 7 pm, Lauren Fox appears at Boswell in celebration of the release of her second novel, Friends Like Us. Read more here.

And on Friday, February 17, 7 pm, Andre Dubus III makes a stop in Milwaukee for the promotion of the paperback release of his acclaimed memoir Townie. Here's my take on this powerful story.

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