Acclaimed short-story writer and novelist Jennifer Haigh will read at the South End library on Tuesday, March 10 from her latest collection, News from Heaven, the winner of the 2014 Massachusetts Book Award and the 2014 PEN/New England Award in Fiction. She will be introduced by poet Henri Cole, himself an award-winning author, and longtime resident of the South End. Linked by place and a cast of characters, the stories are set in the coal mining community of Bakerton, Pennsylvania, but the town's economic decline and its players' challenges notwithstanding, the book was described by reviewer Janet Maslin of the New York Times, as "uplifting and radiant." The Boston Globe’s reviewer called the stories “a distinct, shining example of Haigh’s remarkable gifts for lyricism, psychological insight, and stealth humor.”
Haigh's two grandfathers and several uncles were coal miners, she told an interviewer for the literary magazine The Common in 2013; her mother was a librarian who was "always putting the right book in my hands at the right time." She won the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction and other prestigious literary prizes, and is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, (The Condition and Baker Towers). Her 2012 short story Paramour, originally published in Ploughshares, was included in the 2012 edition of The Best American Short Stories. Other critically praised novels include Faith and Mrs. Kimble. Her books have been published in sixteen languages.
The reading starts at 6:30 PM. The library is fully handicapped accessible. Space is limited. Refreshments are served. Copies of the author's books are available for sale and borrowing.
Authors Coming Up Next at the South End Library:
JAMAICA KINCAID, the celebrated author of prize-winning novels, essays and short stories, married and divorced the son of the legendary New Yorker editor, William Shawn, a composer of classical music. Kincaid’s latest novel, See Now Then, is written in Kincaid's unique elegiac, yet biting prose style, also used effectively in some of her previous books. See Now Then recently won the 2014 American Book Award, a prize created to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement in America’s diverse literary community. The plot centers on a nasty divorce after the husband finds a younger wife, one of the many details in this book of fiction that appear to echo Kincaid’s life.
Tuesday, April 14, 6:30 PM
JACK BEATTY, author and erudite news analyst on WBUR and other radio shows, will talk about his latest book, The Lost History of 1914: Reconsidering the Year the Great War Began. The New Yorker described it as a “counterfactual history;” David Shribman, in his review of the it in the Boston Globe, called it "found history", in light of the vulnerability of the continent to war that year, uncovered by Beatty. A former senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly for many years, Beatty also also helped write (or, as some have suggested, wrote) former Boston mayor Tom Menino’s 2014 memoir, Mayor for a New America. Other titles by Beatty, who won numerous awards and prestigious fellowships, are The Rascall King (a biography of former Boston mayor James Michael Curly), The World According to Peter Drucker, The Age of Betrayal: the Triumph of Money in America, and Colossus: How the Corporation Changed America.