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Jean Thompson in conversation with Donna Seaman "The Poet's House"

Celebrate Jean Thompson's new book "The Poet's House" in person at the Book Cellar with her conversation partner Donna Seaman!

About the Book:

An unforgettable, lighthearted story about a young woman who discovers the insular world of writers, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Year We Left Home.

Carla is in her twenties, working for a landscaper, lacking confidence, still unsure what direction her life will take. Viridian is a lauded and lovely aging poet whose reputation has been defined by her infamous affair with a famous male poet, Mathias, many years earlier. When Carla is hired to work at Viridian's house, she is perplexed by this community of writers: their tendency to recite lines in conversation, the stories of their many liaisons, their endless wine-soaked nights. And still she becomes enamored with Viridian and her whole circle, and especially with the power of words, the “ache and hunger that can both be awakened and soothed by a poem,” a hunger that Carla feels sharply at this stagnating moment in her young life. At the same time, she sees how even Viridian has had to compromise so much to take her place in the world of letters. And as Viridian’s standing begins to fade, a number of people angle to gain possession of Mathias’s cycle of poems written about Viridian, a cycle he famously burned as he read them. Yet long after Mathias' s death, one copy may still rest with Viridian. If so, why won't she release it?

A wry meditation on art as both transformative and on the ways in which it can be leveraged as commerce, as well as a perceptive examination of the female artist, Jean Thompson’s novel is at once delightfully funny and wise, and will resonate with readers who loved Lily King's Writers & Lovers, Meg Wolitzer's The Female Persuasion, and Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise.

About the Author:

Jean Thompson is the author of fourteen books of fiction, including the National Book Award finalist Who Do You Love, the NYT bestseller The Year We Left Home, and the NYT Notable Book Wide Blue Yonder. Her work has been published in the New Yorker, as well as dozens of other magazines, and anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize. She has been the recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, among other accolades, and has taught creative writing at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Reed College, Northwestern University, and many other colleges and universities.

About the Conversation Partner:

Donna Seaman is the Editor for the adult books section in Booklist, published by the American Library Association.  A recipient of the Louis Shores Award for Excellence in Book Reviewing, the James Friend Memorial Award for Literary Criticism, and the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award, Seaman is a member of the Content Leadership Team for the American Writers Museum, a frequent presenter at various literary events and programs, and an adjunct professor for Northwestern University’s MA in Writing and MFA in Prose and Poetry Programs. Seaman’s author interviews are collected in Writers on the Air and she is the author of Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists.

Event Start Time: 
Tuesday, July 19, 2022 - 7:00pm
Publish To Home Page: 
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