This is going to be fun and interesting.
Family secrets will be revealed!!!
If you already signed up for this, there was a glitch, and you will need register again here.
See you there!
The Princeton native authors talk about Martha McPhee’s new book, “An Elegant Woman,” which is drawn from family history.
“An Elegant Woman” is a story of discovery and reinvention, following four generations of women in one American family.
A profound meditation on memory, history, and legacy, the story follows one woman over the course of the 20th century, taking the reader from a drought-stricken farm in Montana to a yellow Victorian in Maine; from the halls of a psychiatric hospital in London to a wedding-gown fitting at Bergdorf Goodman; from a house in small town Ohio to a family reunion at a sweltering New Jersey pig roast.
Martha McPhee’s latest novel is an evocative exploration of the stories we tell ourselves, and what we leave out. In this special event, hosted by the library in the town where she grew up, the author will be joined in conversation by her sister, author Jenny McPhee.
A Library and Labyrinth Livestream Event
Growing up, Princeton Public Library is where I dreamed of living. I spent so many afternoons there after school waiting for my mother to finish work, wishing she would be late, which she always was, so I could keep wandering among the stacks surrounded by books, whom I considered to be my closest friends. At Princeton Public Library, I was the most popular girl in the world with so very many friends of all types from all over the world. At Princeton Public Library, I was among the elegant, the exotic, the adventurous, the courageous, the outrageous, the truly mad, and they welcomed me as one of them. I fantasized about spending the night there, like Claudia at the Metropolitan Museum in The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, with a flashlight and a sleeping bag just to see what might happen. There were quite a few of us regulars–nerds, bookworms, kids with nowhere else to go–and the librarians were always tolerant, even fond of us. The library has changed so much since then–it’s been through a massive renovation–and now we are experiencing it virtually. I am so grateful and glad to go to home to Princeton Public Library any chance I get. Please join me and Martha there on June 4th at 7:30 where we will discuss her fabulous new novel, An Elegant Woman.
Drawn from the author’s own family history, An Elegant Woman is a story of discovery and reinvention, following four generations of women in one American family.
A profound meditation on memory, history, and legacy, the story follows one woman over the course of the 20th century, taking the reader from a drought-stricken farm in Montana to a yellow Victorian in Maine; from the halls of a psychiatric hospital in London to a wedding gown fitting at Bergdorf Goodman; from a house in small town Ohio to a family reunion at a sweltering New Jersey pig roast.
Martha McPhee’s latest novel is an evocative exploration of the stories we tell ourselves, and what we leave out. In this special event, hosted by the library in the town where she grew up, Martha will be joined in conversation with her sister Jenny McPhee.
Sign up here.
Mark your calendars and register now. It will be so fun to see you all there to celebrate Martha and her sweeping, elegant new novel.
Martha McPhee Launches An Elegant Woman in Conversation with Julia Phillips
Celebrate the June 2 release of Martha McPhee’s novel An Elegant Woman, published by Scribner. Julia Phillips, author of Disappearing Earth (shortlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize), will interview the National Book Award finalist on why she chose to use aspects of her own family history in telling the story of four generations of women.
This little animated video by Géraldine Charpentier-Basille is such an exquisite expression of less is more.
And over in New Jersey, check out what’s happening in the wilderness: Silver Linings: Coyotes, Maggots, Chrysanthemum Weeds–Day 52.
And I think it’s time for a puzzle update:
Apparently, the animals are having a ball, taking back the world. Watch here.
(Thanks to Lina)
And over in New Jersey, check out Martha’s dazzling post about the maternal line of women in our family: “By Hook or By Crook”
And yesterday she got a DAZZLING review for her forthcoming book, An Elegant Woman, in Booklist.
My sister Martha, the family chronicler, for whom I have the best kind of envy on a good day, who inspires me always to be the best I can be, to do more, and to do better (we try to make competition work for us whenever possible 🙂 ) has a brilliant new novel coming out on June 2 called An Elegant Woman. We are going to do all we can from our respective confinements to celebrate and promote this book and give it all the exposure it deserves. After all, the novel was inspired by my very complicated and indeed very elegant Grammy Brown who once said to me, “You’re the kind of girl over which men blow out their brains.” And that was one of her milder statements. For a little taste go here.
Over the next few weeks, Martha and I will be inviting you to virtual readings and book events related to An Elegant Woman so we hope you will join us at some of these and, of course, we hope you will buy the book, love it, and tell everyone you know about it.
A LETTER FROM F. SCOTT FITZGERALD,
QUARANTINED IN 1920 IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE
DURING THE SPANISH INFLUENZA OUTBREAK
It was a limpid dreary day, hung as in a basket from a single
dull star. I thank you for your letter. Outside, I perceive what may be a
collection of fallen leaves tussling against a trash can. It rings like
jazz to my ears. The streets are that empty. It seems as though the bulk of the
city has retreated to their quarters, rightfully so. At this time, it seems
very poignant to avoid all public spaces. Even the bars, as I told
Hemingway, but to that he punched me in the stomach, to which I asked if he
had washed his hands. He hadn’t. He is much the denier, that one. Why, he
considers the virus to be just influenza. I’m curious of his sources.
The officials have alerted us to ensure we have a month’s
worth of necessities. Zelda and I have stocked up on red wine, whiskey, rum,
vermouth, absinthe, white wine, sherry, gin, and lord, if we need it,
Please pray for us.
F. Scott Fitzgerald 🙂
(The letter comes via one of my dad’s students from his 2017 seminar “The Literature of Fact.”)
And while we’re sipping our absinthe let’s watch a garden grow!
Martha and I, and our families, have come to the Ibla Grand Prize International Music Competitions and Festival 2012 in Sicily for ten days inspired by the magnificent Dr. Salvatore Moltisanti, President of the Ibla Foundation. On our first night in south eastern Sicily, a World Heritage Site of Eight Late Baroque Towns, Dr. Moltisanti jumped into his convertible and led us down the road and around a bend to a buffalo farm
where he promised we would eat the best mozzarella di bufola in the world.
We ate slabs of the creamiest cheese together with pomodorini cieligi and both Martha and I dreamed about it all night long. The next day we went back and bought ourselves some more of the manna for lunch.