Monday, July 30, 7 PM, at Boswell:
Robert Goolrick, author of A Reliable Wife, and the new novel, Heading Out to Wonderful.
It is the summer of 1948 when a handsome, charismatic stranger, Charlie Beale, recently back from the war in Europe, shows up in the town of Brownsburg, a sleepy village of a few hundred people, nestled in the Valley of Virginia. All he has with him are two suitcases: one contains his few possessions, including a fine set of butcher knives; the other is full of money. A lot of money.
Finding work at the local butcher shop, Charlie befriends the owner and his family, including the owner's son, Sam, who he is soon treating as though he were his own flesh and blood. And it is through the shop that Charlie gradually meets all the townsfolk, including Boaty Glass, Brownsburg's wealthiest citizen, and most significantly, Boaty's beautiful teenage bride, Sylvan. This last encounter sets in motion the events that give Goolrick's powerful tale the stark, emotional impact that thrilled fans of his previous novel, A Reliable Wife.
Charlie's attraction to Sylvan Glass turns first to lust and then to a need to possess her, a need so basic it becomes an all-consuming passion that threatens to destroy everything and everyone in its path. Told through the eyes of Sam, now an old man looking back on the events that changed his world forever, Heading Out to Wonderful is a suspenseful masterpiece, a haunting, heart-stopping novel of obsession and love gone terribly wrong in a place where once upon a time such things could happen.
A former advertising executive, Robert Goolrick lives in Virginia with his dog, Preacher, who doesn’t care so much about reading books.
Wednesday, August 1, 7 PM, at Boswell:
Ron Tanner, author of From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story.
Eleven years ago, Ron and Jill, then his girlfriend of six months, discovered the Baltimore house of their dreams: a 4,500ft2 Victorian row house that had belonged to a notorious fraternity, and it showed. The collapsed fireplaces, bannisters and wall-to-wall graffiti would prove more than a challenge to two renovation amateurs. A decade later, they prove that love (and a lot of sweat) can prevail.
“I fell for the house, I fell for the girl (and, predictably, her dowager of a basset hound), but most of all, I fell for Ron Tanner, one very fine storyteller. I'm still a bit stunned that I could become so entranced by a tale involving rehab nerds, real-estate shysters, frat-house vandals, Dumpsters, rats, and a whole lot of tools, but I'm enough of a writer to know this: when someone of great heart meets the most deeply personal challenge of a lifetime -- especially when it seems strange or insane to just about everyone else -- that's the place where the best and most moving stories begin. For Ron Tanner, it began with a woman wrapping glasses in an antique shop . . . and a small sign in a Baltimore window. How little he knew of what was to come, and how glad you'll be that he never backed down.”
–Julia Glass, author of Three Junes.
Author Bio: Ron Tanner teaches writing at Loyola University in Baltimore and directs the Marshall Islands Story Project He is the author of two books: Kiss Me, Stranger, and Bed of Nails, which won both the G.S. Sharat Chandra Award and the Towson Prize for Literature.
Thursday, August 2, 7 PM, at Boswell
Joe Meno, author of Office Girl, The Boy Detective Fails, and many other novels
with opening poet Dan Nowak, author of Recycle Suburbia.
“It is 1999 in snowy Chicago, and art school dropout Odile (pronounced O-deel) is having a rough time: she is stuck in a dead end office job, in love with a married man, and can't create any interesting art. Nick is a twenty-four-year-old, chronically depressed, and soon to be divorced artist who is obsessed with recording sounds of the city. Together they decide to start their own art movement that celebrates the transitory, fleeting moments of contemporary life. Office Girl is a sweet, snowy bicycle ride through the uncertainties and difficulties of post-college life.”
–Boswell bookseller Shane Papendorf
“This light, dreamy, and quirky story is Jack and Jill for hipsters. The spunky Odile and the tragic Jack are two creative, socially-inept kids lost in a post-college, pre-professional life where everything is exhilarating, frightening, and wonderful all at once. Working dead-end jobs and dealing with the ups and downs life can bring, Odile and Jack find temporary fulfillment in the music and art they find and create - but they seem to long for something more soulful...is it love? Will they find it, or have they already found it?”
– Boswell bookseller Nick Berg
Joe Meno is author of five novels, two short story collections and several stage plays. Winner of the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Great Lakes Book Award, his work has been published in One Story, New York Times, and McSweeneys. Meno is an associate professor of fiction at Columbia College.
Dan Nowak is editor and publisher of Imaginary Friend Press. His book, Recycle Suburbia, won the 2007 Quercus Review Poetry Series Award, and his other collections have been published by Accents Publishing and RockSaw Press. Dan has published his poems in the North American Review, the cream city review, and Diode.