Brattleboro Literary Festival 2022 Brattleboro Literary Festival 2022

Fiction

Saturday, October 15, 2022

- EDT
Internal Lives—Megan Mayhew Bergman & Andrea Barrett
Megan Mayhew Bergman
Megan Mayhew Bergman
How Strange a Season
Andrea Barrett
Andrea Barrett
Natural History

Natural History is masterful new collection of interconnected stories National Book Award–winning author. Andrea Barrett. In Natural History,  she completes the beautiful arc of intertwined lives of a family of scientists, teachers, and innovators that she has been weaving through multiple books since her National Book Award–winning collection, Ship Fever.

 In Megan Mayhew Bergman’s How Strange the Season, a recently separated woman fills a huge terrarium with rare flowers to establish control over a small world and attempt to heal her broken heart. A competitive swimmer negotiates over which days she will fulfill her wifely duties, and which days she will keep for herself. 

This masterful collection from a celebrated Vermont author portrays women who wrestle with problematic inheritances. 

- EDT
Safe Places—Julia Glass & Alice Elliott Dark
Julia Glass
Julia Glass
Vigil Harbor
Alice Elliott Dark
Alice Elliott Dark
Fellowship Point

National Book Award-winning author Julia Glass’s new book, Vigil Harbor, is the story of two unexpected visitors who arrive in an insular coastal village, then threaten the equilibrium of a community already confronting climate instability, political violence, and domestic upheavals.  Vigil Harbor transcends the mood of collective but cloistered worry and becomes a novel about what remains. 

In Alice Elliott Dark’s Fellowship Point, two octogenarian women whose long friendship is entangled with their families’ landholdings in coastal Maine, seek to save the acreage from development, and as they do, they must also confront their past choices and find some peace in the present. The New York Times calls it  “a novel rich with social and psychological insights, both earnest and sly, big ideas grounded in individual emotions, a portrait of a tightly knit community made up of artfully drawn, individual souls.”

 

- EDT
Gender Roles — Tom Perrotta & Elizabeth Nunez
Tom Perrotta
Tom Perrotta
Tracy Flick Can’t Win
Elizabeth Nunez
Elizabeth Nunez
Now Lila Knows

In best-selling author Tom Perrotta’s new book, Tracy Flick Can’t Win, Tracy is a hardworking assistant principal at a public high school in suburban New Jersey. Ambitious but feeling a little stuck and under appreciated, she gets a jolt of good news when the longtime principal abruptly announces his retirement, creating a rare opportunity for Tracy to ascend to the top job. But will she get the job? 

Elizabeth Nunez’s book, What Lila Knows, is the story of Lila,  a professor who has left her home in the Caribbean to join the faculty at a small Vermont college. On her way from the airport, she witnesses the fatal shooting of a Black man,  a professor at the college, by the police,  while giving CPR to a white woman overdosed on opioids. 

Although her black colleagues expect her to be a witness in the case against the police, as an immigrant, she fears speaking out will jeopardize her position at the college. 

 

- EDT
A Little Advice --Carolyn Ferrell & Gina Sorrell
Carolyn Ferrell
Carolyn Ferrell
Dear Miss Metropolitan
Gina Sorell
Gina Sorell
The Wise Women

Carolyn Ferrell and Gina Sorell’s very different books both feature advice columnists.  In Ferrell’s book Miss Metropolitan, three young women are abducted and held captive of three young in Queens, N.Y., across the street from an advice columnist.  When they subsequently escaped, she wonders how she did not realize the girls were there.  

Sorell’s book, The Wise Women tells of New York City’s gentrifying outer boroughs and an advice columnist who tries to help her two grown daughters who have their own problems and challenges. 

Sunday, October 16, 2022

- EDT
Coming Home--Annie Hartnett & Alison Espach
Annie Hartnett
Annie Hartnett
Unlikely Animals
Alison Espach
Alison Espach
Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance

A pair of New England authors have stories to tell about homecoming coming of age. In Annie Hartnett’s book Unlikely Animals, a girl drops out of medical school and moves home to take care of her father. When she gets home, she's unprepared to find that her former best friend from high school is missing, with no one bothering to look for her. 

In Alison Espach’s book Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance  a young teenager is in awe of her older sister, who seems to have all the answers to life’s questions. When she unexpectedly dies, her younger sister is left to deal with her loss. 

A  wry, sharply observant coming-of-age story that looks at the ways the people we love the most continue to shape our lives long after they’re gone. 

- EDT
Out West Somewhere — Bill Roorbach & Wyn Cooper
Bill Roorbach
Bill Roorbach
Lucky Turtle
Wyn Cooper
Wyn Cooper
Way Out West

Bill Roorbach’s book Lucky Turtle and Wyn Cooper’s book Way out West  both take us out in the West. 

In Lucky Turtle, sixteen-year-old Cindra Zoeller is sent to a reform camp in Montana after being involved in an armed robbery, she is thrust into a world of mountains and cowboys and prayers and miscreants and people from all walks of life like she’s never seen in suburban Massachusetts.  

Way Out West, set in the stark and beautiful landscapes of Nevada and Arizona,  is a wild ride through the complicated worlds of moviemaking, love, drugs, and spying.  

 

- EDT
Looking Back — Kirthana Ramisetti & Joyce Maynard
Kirthana Ramisetti
Kirthana Ramisetti
Dava Shastri’s Last Day
Joyce Maynard
Joyce Maynard
Count the Ways

In Kirthana Ramisetti’s novel Dava Shastri’s Last Day, a dying billionaire matriarch leaks news of her death early so she can examine her legacy—a decision that horrifies her children and inadvertently exposes secrets she has spent a lifetime keeping. 

Joyce Maynard’s Count the Ways is an epic family saga that follows the lives of Eleanor and Cam all the way from their first meeting, through to their blossoming romance onto their child-rearing years and eventually the demise of their relationship, in the wake of a tragedy that shook the family to its very core.

- EDT
No Choice — Ann Leary & Jennifer Haigh
Ann Leary
Ann Leary
The Foundling
Jennifer Haigh
Jennifer Haigh
Mercy Street

Ann Leary’s The Foundling is a compelling record of a too-hidden piece of history when eugenics was commonly applauded as progressive social science. 

This novel, based in part on Leary’s family history, looks at the outrageous ways our society has sought to control women. 

Fast forward to present day: Jennifer Haigh’s Mercy Street centers on an abortion clinic in downtown Boston, describing the day-to-day realities of the people who go there and exploring the precarious status of safe, legal abortion in this country.

- EDT
Global Stories — Brad Kessler & Nathaniel Ian Miller
Nathaniel Ian Miller
Nathaniel Ian Miller
Memoirs of Stockholm Sven

Brad Kessler’s North is the story of the intertwined lives of a Vermont monk, a Somali refugee, and an Afghan war veteran.  The book is grounded in the author’s own corner of Vermont, where there is a Carthusian monastery, a vibrant community of Somali asylum seekers, and a hole left after a disproportionate number of Vermont soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. 

In Nathaniel Ian Miller’s book, Memoirs of Stockholm Sven,  it’s 1916 when Sven Ormson leaves a restless life in Stockholm to seek adventure in an Arctic archipelago where darkness reigns four months of the year. But his time as a miner ends when an avalanche nearly kills him, leaving him disfigured, and Sven flees even further, to an uninhabited fjord. There, with the company of a loyal dog, he builds a hut and lives alone, testing himself against the elements.