Monday, July 26, 2010

Why Didn't You Trust Us on Lily King? Here Come the Reviews

One of the nicest events we've had this spring was Lily King's Father of the Rain. King was lovely, the book was wonderful, but turnout, while not a washout,was disappointing.

Boy how a few weeks would have made a difference! I've noticed that for fiction, we have a lot of customers who really follow reviews. Yesterday was Liesl Schillinger's review in the New York Times Book Review. Here's just a teaser, for those who don't like to link:

"King is a beautiful writer, with equally strong gifts for dialogue and internal monologue. Silently or aloud, her characters betray the inner tumult they conceal as they try to keep themselves together, wanting others to see them as whole. Whether they’re children, teenagers or adults in their 40s, 50s and older, they demonstrate through their confusions that what we like to call coming-of-age is a process that doesn’t always end. Like people in real life, King’s characters alter their behavior each time they interact with someone different — parent, sibling, friend, lover, student, boss — exposing the protean nature of personality. Context controls character."

Read the rest of the review here.

Not enough convincing? Ellen Emry Heltzel says King's new novel is resonant of John Cheever and Barbara Kingsolver in this review in the Seattle Times.

And here's the wonderful Leah Hager Cohen's take in the Boston Globe:
"King’s great accomplishment lies in making us care about Gardiner without ever letting up on her depiction of his gross infelicities. He is a marvelously complex character: at once consistent and rife with paradox. And King is too sophisticated to offer a straightforward redemptive arc. Instead, we see Gardiner grow, and we see him revert. We see Daley root for him, and we see her question whether doing so means personal stagnation. We see mistakes repeated and hopes renewed. Ultimately, King suggests, redemption lies less in healing than in living — simply being present to what is."

I don't think we'll have this issue with Mona Simpson's new novel, My Hollywood. The book is out August 3rd, and I expect a lot of hoopla for her first novel in ten years. Our event is on October 21st. Mark your calendars.

And boy, do I love this jacket!

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