Monday, December 28, 2020

Event alert - Michelle Gallen, author of Big Girl, Small Town, in conversation with Jim Higgins

We just have one event this week, but it's a great one - Michelle Gallen will be in conversation, live from Dublin, with Journal Sentinel Book and Arts Editor Jim Higgins for Big Girl, Small Town on Tuesday, December 29, 2 pm Central (that's 8 pm Dublin time). Her book was published in December and has been a big hit at Boswell. In fact, we've run out of books - we have more on order from the publisher and wholesaler. But that's no reason not to attend virtually - you can register for the Zoom webinar right here.  Cohosted by CelticMKE.

Big Girl, Small Town was published by Algonquin on December 1. That's not always an auspicious time for literary fiction - by then, many reviewers are already turning to year-end compilations, so late great reviews wind up bumping year-end hosannas until the following year. That was the case for Perumal Murugan's The Story of a Goat (December 10, 2019 release date), which wound up on New York Times critic Perul Seghal's top books of 2020. 

Here's what Ron Charles wrote in The Washington Post when he reviewed Gallen's debut: "This year’s publishing season is over. The important, noisy novels have all been released. The prizes have been awarded. The list of Best Books for 2020 has been posted. But hold the door! Make room for this late arrival from Dublin: an immensely lovable debut novel by Michelle Gallen called Big Girl, Small Town." As you can gather from this intro, he really liked it. Maybe it will be in Charles's top ten of 2021.

Jim Higgins of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is also a fan, and that's what led to this event. He mentioned enjoying it, and then we got a sneak preview that the book would land on his editor's choice for the year. I wondered if he'd be up for an afternoon of conversation. And he was! We went through the proper publishing channels to set things up.

Here's what Higgins wrote in his end-of-year writeup: "Bright, earthy and funny, Majella works in a chip shop in a Northern Ireland border town, copes with her alcoholic ma and watches Dallas DVDs to relax. She's also on the autism spectrum, constantly analyzing the people around her to know how to respond. The star of Gallen's novel is my most unforgettable fictional character of 2020."

Our event is free and co-hosted by CelticMKE. Want a wee taste of what's to come? Here's Michelle Gallen with her sampling of Irish slang. More when Gallen speaks to Jim Higgins about Big Girl, Small Town on Tuesday, December 29, 2 pm CST. 

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