Thursday, July 27th Author Literary Luncheon

Held at the Wequassett Resort in 28 Atlantic

Check-in Begins at 12:00 / Luncheon Begins at 12:30pm

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Victoria Redel, Ian Bassingthwaighte, and Jessica Shattuck

Before Everything: A Novel by Victoria Redel

Before Everything is a celebration of friendship and love between a group of women who have known each another since they were girls. They've faced everything together, from youthful sprees and scrapes to mid-life turning points.

Now, as Anna, the group's trailblazer and brightest spark, enters hospice, they gather to do what they've always done--talk and laugh and help each other make choices and plans, this time in Anna's rural Massachusetts home. Helen, Anna's best friend and a celebrated painter, is about to remarry. The others face their own challenges--Caroline with her sister's mental health crisis; Molly with a teenage daughter's rebellion; Ming with her law practice--dilemmas with kids and work and love. Before Everything is as funny as it is bittersweet, as the friends revel in the hilarious mistakes they've seen each another through, the secrets kept, and adventures shared. But now all sense of time has shifted, and the pattern of their lives together takes on new meaning.

The novel offers a brilliant, emotionally charged portrait, deftly conveying the sweep of time over everyday lives, and showing how even in difficult endings, gifts can unfold. Above all it is an ode to friendship, and to how one person shapes the journeys of those around her.

 “Gorgeous, a heartbreaker, a non-stop dazzler, a major achievement. Thank you, Victoria Redel.”
—Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Hours

Victoria Redel is the critically acclaimed author of four previous works of fiction and three collections of poetry. Her debut novel, Loverboy, was named one of the best books of the year by the Los Angeles Times and won the Sister Mariella Gable Prize from Graywolf Press and the Forward Silver Literary Fiction Prize. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and has contributed to the New York Times, the Los Angeles TimesElle, O, the Oprah Magazine, Granta, One Story, and the Harvard Review. She received her MFA in poetry from Columbia University and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

Live From Cairo: A Novel by Ian Bassingthwaighte

  

From a hugely talented, award-winning young author, a brilliant, lively debut novel about an impulsive American attorney, a methodical Egyptian translator, and a disillusioned Iraqi-American resettlement officer trying to protect a refugee who finds herself trapped in Cairo during the turbulent aftermath of the January 25 revolution.

Live from Cairo is the exuberant, dazzling story of these people: Dalia, a strong-willed Iraqi refugee who finds herself trapped in Egypt after her petition to resettle in America with her husband is denied. Charlie, her foolhardy attorney, whose frustration with the legal bureaucracy and complicated feelings for Dalia have led him to forge a not entirely legal plan to get her out. Aos, Charlie's fastidious translator and only friend, who spends his days trying to help people through the system and his nights in Tahrir Square protesting against it. And Hana, a young and disenchanted Iraqi-American resettlement officer; she is the worker assigned to Dalia's case, deciding whether to treat her plight as merely one more piece of paperwork, or as a full-blooded human crisis. As these individuals come together, a plot is formed to help Dalia. But soon laws are broken, friendships and marriages are tested, and lives are risked--all in an effort to protect one person from the dangerous sweep of an unjust world.

A vibrant portrait of a city in all its teeming chaos and glory, Live from Cairo is an exhilarating, electrifying debut, and a stunning testament to the unconquerable desire of people to rise above tragedy to seek love, friendship, humor, and joy.

"Ian Bassingthwaighte's Live From Cairo is, as the title suggests, a living, animate, remarkable novel written with an energy rarely found in debut novels. With its sweeping eye for sizzling detail, this portrait of wanderers from different lands in a troubled Middle East is urgent and fiercely engaging."--Chigozie Obioma, Booker Shortlisted author of The Fishermen

Ian Bassingthwaighte was a Fulbright Grantee in Egypt in 2009, where he worked in a legal aid office that served refugees from Iraq, Sudan, and the Horn of Africa. He has been honored with Hopwood Awards for both novel writing and short fiction. He was also named as a finalist for the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative. His work has appeared in Esquire,National Geographic, the Chicago TribuneThe SunTin HouseThe Rumpus, and many other publications. Live from Cairo is his first novel. 

The Women in the Castle: A Novel by Jessica Shattuck

 

Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined--an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel.

Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany's defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband's ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband's brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows. First Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin's mother, the beautiful and naive Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resister's wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war. As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband's resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war--each with their own unique share of challenges.

Jessica Shattuck is the award-winning author of The Hazards of Good Breeding, which was a New York Times Notable Book and finalist for the PEN/Winship Award, and Perfect Life. Her writing has appeared in the New York TimesNew YorkerGlamourMother JonesWired, and The Believer, among other publications. A graduate of Harvard University, she received her MFA from Columbia University. She lives with her husband and three children in Brookline, Massachusetts.