Author News and Book Reports

Mona Simpson, Ann Patchett, and Lucinda Franks compare notes on life, lit, and love
With an introduction by Eve Ensler's V-Day Board of Directors member and 2014 Path Award winner Lisa Schejola Akin, three of America's bestselling, award-winning writers took the stage at the 2014 Miami Book Fair International to talk about their most recent books and offer free-ranging observations on life, lit, and love. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, memoirist, and novelist Lucinda Franks began with a reading from her second memoir, Timeless: Love, Morgenthau, and Me, soon to be released in trade paperback (Sarah Crichton Books; August, 2015), detailing how she, a journalist/activist, who would break the law to get a story, fell in love with former longtime, button-downed District Attorney for New York County Robert M. Morgenthau, and passages about their courtship and blended family issues. Former editor at the Paris Review, bestselling, award-winning author, and biological sister of the late Apple Computers founder, Steve Jobs, Mona Simpson followed with a purview of her new bestselling family/detective drama Casebook, recently released in trade paperback (Vintage; February, 2015). Bestselling, award-winning author Ann Patchett then joined Franks and Simpson, all of whom have experienced blended families and divorce, in a discussion of mothers, marriages, and ex's. Simpson, who has lived in Los Angeles since she moved there as a teenager with her mother after her mother's divorce, extended the conversation to offer insights into her long-running bestseller My Hollywood (Vintage; August, 2011) and recalled discovering Ann Patchett in the slush pile while an editor at the Paris Review. Reflecting on the privacy concerns of authors Hilary Mantel and Marcel Proust, Patchett then steered the discussion to her new role as co-founder of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, and the challenges of balancing her private life with being a public ambassador promoting reading and charity. The panel of women writers wrapped with questions from the audience on Patchett's perennial bestselling novel State of Wonder, recently re-released in trade paperback (Harper Perennial; September, 2014) and her trip to the Amazon jungles of Brazil; Simpson's portrait of her mother; Patchett's bestselling book of personal essays, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, recently released in trade paperback (Harper Perennial; October, 2014) and extended conversation with Franks and Simpson on politics, marriage, love, and 'personal nuns'; Franks' future projects and her switch from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to fiction writer.

Book and Author Headlines

Maureen McLane reveals her free-ranging poetic vision in her National Book Award Finalist, This Blue: 2014 National Book Award Finalist in Poetry and 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist in Autobiography Maureen McClane reads and talks about six poems from her NBA Finalist, This Blue.

Fanny Howe makes poetry out of paradox in her 2014 National Book Award Finalist, Second Childhood: Prize-winning American poet, novelist, and short story writer Fanny Howe reads from her 2014 National Book Award Finalist in Poetry, Second Childhood.

John Cleese declares 'there is no hope' for this mad world, and he's 'never been happier' for it: English actor, comedian, writer and film producer John Cleese, in an interview with NPR's books associate editor, Petra Mayer, decries failed democracy and a world gone mad, declares 'there is no hope' and insists he's 'never been happier' knowing there is nothing that can be done.

George Clinton and Questlove cover doo wop to hip hop with Ben Greenman: Multiple awards winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame icon George Clinton and Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson, founder of the thinking person's hip hop group, The Roots, the highly influential, hit record-selling hip hop group since 1995 and currently nightly performers on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, do a literary duet, orchestrated by co-author and The New Yorker editor Ben Greenman, on their memoirs covering R&B from doo wop to hip hop.

Siri Hustvedt, Susan Minot, and Francine Prose lead the way with passion and intellect in fiction: Three of America's leading contemporary literary fiction writers take the stage to read from and talk about their work.

Roz Chast finds balance between personal experience and art in her NBA Finalist graphic memoir: Staff cartoonist at The New Yorker and bestselling childrens and adult graphic books author Roz Chast talks about the things aging parents avoid talking about and reads from her National Book Award Finalist Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?

Anand Gopal reports from Afghanistan and finds No Good Men Among the Living: Afghanistan correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor, Anand Gopal reads from his NBA Finalist No Good Men Among the Living and talks about his investigation.

Evan Osnos meets the new China in its Age of Ambition and brings home the 2014 National Book Award: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and National Book Award-winning author Evan Osnos reads from his NBA winner: Age of Ambition and talked about how he gained the trust of ordinary Chinese people to write his popular 'Letters from China' blog, the basis of his award-winning non-fiction book.

Rabih Alameddine rocks a 72-year-old woman's voice in his NBA Finalist: An Unnecessary Woman: Jordan-born American-based Guggenheim Fellow, painter, and author Rabih Alameddine reads from his 2014 National Book Award Finalist and talks about the challenges of writing in a woman's voice.

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