10/25/2015 - 2:00pm
Central Library - Community Room 301 & 302
Blake Bailey and Kate Christensen are award-winning authors in the realms of biography and fiction. In their newest works, they've turned their attentions on themselves and have produced incredible works of personal memoir. With The Splendid Things We Planned and How To Cook A Moose, Bailey and Christensen bring us into their lives in intimate, touching, and important ways. These brilliant authors will read and discuss why they were moved to write memoir after their successes in other genres.
About The Splendid Things We Planned:
Tolstoy famously wrote that “all happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” For the Baileys—long-suffering Burck, a successful lawyer; Marlies, his German-born wife, something of a party girl; their elder son, Scott, reckless and self-destructive; and Blake, the younger son, uncertain of his place in a family bent on implosion—unhappiness is only the tip of a large and murky iceberg. In The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait, acclaimed biographer Blake Bailey, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, focuses his jeweler’s gaze on the most intimate subject available: his own life. The Splendid Things We Planned is an electric account, at once harrowing and bleakly funny, of the often engulfing effect that family members have on one another’s lives.
About How To Cook A Moose:
Inspired by her bold move to Maine and New Hampshire, as well as MFK Fisher's war-time writing and the slow-food movement that has re-energized sustainable farming, critically acclaimed author Kate Christensen turns her blockbuster talent to telling the story of the hardship and happiness that has sustained her adopted home through thick and thin, as demonstrated through the staple foods of the region. Using her candid blend of humor, insight, culinary knowledge, and taste for rugged adventure, How To Cook A Moose takes the reader on a journey into the lives and landscapes of the farmers, fishermen, hunters, and families that are trying to make do with what they can and still produce delicious, healthful food, while detailing the history of food in the region and the secrets to cultivating Christensen's own sources of joy. A mouthwatering stew that combines the magic ingredients of love, personal appetites, hard labor, history, and original recipes based on foods featured in the book.
Blake Bailey is the author of biographies of John Cheever, Richard Yates, and Charles Jackson, and he is at work on the authorized biography of Philip Roth. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; the winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award and the Francis Parkman Prize; and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Virginia, where he is the Mina Hohenberg Darden Professor of Creative Writing at Old Dominion University.
About the Author: Kate Christensen is the author of five novels and one memoir. Her novel, The Great Man, appeared on the New York Times Bestseller list and won her the 2008 Pen/Faulkner Award for fiction. Her previous novels are In the Drink (1999), Jeremy Thrane (2001), and The Epicure's Lament (2004), Trouble (2009), and The Astral (2011). Her most recent book, "Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites," was published in July 2013 by Doubleday. She is a graduate of Reed College and the Iowa Writers Workshop. Her essays, articles, reviews, and stories have appeared in many anthologies and periodicals, including The New York Times Book Review, O, the Oprah Magazine, Gilt Taste, Bookforum, Elle, The Wall Street Journal, Tin House, The Wilson Quarterly, The B&N Review, and Fivechapters.com.