11th Annual Fiction Panel Luncheon
(Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group; May 2012)
Eliot Gordon, a 38-year-old working mother, would do anything for her family - her partner, Grant Delaney, and their three daughters. The reappearance of Finn Montgomery, Eliot's lon-lost first love, triggers a shocking chain of events culminating in a split-second decision - which child should she save? - that will haunt her beloved family forever. Jillian Medoff, the author of Good Girls Gone Bad and Hunger Point (which was made into a Lifetime movie starring Barbara Hershey and Christina Hendricks), examines the unbreakable bonds of family in her funny yet heart-wrenching novel I Couldn't Love You More.
The Pretty Girl: Novella and Stories
(Four Way Books; April 2012)
From Victorian toy theaters, to a painting with a mysterious story behind it, to a graphic novelist's battle with schizophrenia, the novella and six stories in The Pretty Girl, Debra Spark's fourth work of fiction, revolve around artists, artistry and the magical, sometimes malicious deceptions they create. With settings that traverse New York's Lower East Side, Victorian London, Paris and Switzerland, these stories twist and turn in mesmerizing ways as they reflect on the fictions we fabricate. Like the best magic tricks, Spark's gritty and elusive stories captivate and seem to defy the laws of reality.
(Grove Press/Open City Books; October 2009)
With the tone of a modern-day Jewish Ice Storm, Rachel Sherman's first novel Living Room is a disarmingly direct portrait of a troubled family. This exploration of the ripple effects of mental illness introduces readers to Abby, a wise teenager who strives to keep her parents' dysfunction at arm's length; her mother Livia, a housewife with unfulfulled aspirations and an eating disorder, and her grandmother Headie, whose oncoming senility fuels vivid dreams and hallucinations. Like Sherman's debut collection of highly acclaimed stories, The First Hurt, this book presents a fascinating array of experiences with unusual frankness, humor, and wisdom.
moderated by Larry Fine