FW: Big Doings [at Capitol Bks, Montgomery/Ala. authors]
- fyi..aj wright // ajwright@...
From: Capitol Book [mailto:capitolbook@...]
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2003 11:20 AM
To: Capitol Book
Subject: Big Doings
The Capitol Book Newsletter
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
1. Booksignings Tomorrow!
2. Tickets Still Available
Sena Jeter Naslund Here Tomorrow
One of the more unexpected and original novels we can remember is Sena Jeter
Naslund's Ahab's Wife, published in 1999 and now a backlist staple in every
bookstore in America. That book is the imagined story of Captain Ahab's
wife, who gets scant mention in Moby Dick, but who, at least in the very
fertile and creative mind of Sena Naslund, had quite a full and amazing life
before, during and after the time old Ahab was around. If you haven't read
it, you should.
And now Sena Naslund has written another novel, the one she says she was
born to write, the one she says she was freed to write by the success of
Ahab's Wife. The new one is Four Spirits, and it's set in Birmingham during
the couple of years before, during and after the time of the bombing of the
Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. As we've said before - it's not "about" the
bombing, it's not even really "about" the Civil Rights movement in
Birmingham. It's really about 10 or 12 people who lived in Birmingham then,
and, well..... we could go on, but instead just ponder these few excerpts
from the recent New York Times review of the book:
As it turns out, Naslund has done something unusually fine -- she's written
a drifting, collective portrait of a city in distress. The characters of
''Four Spirits'' are deeply entwined, sometimes without knowing it. There's
a literary chaos theory at play here: as the infamous Amazonian butterfly
flaps its wings and a monsoon arises in India, so it seems in ''Four
Spirits'' that a Klan wife sewing white robes too slowly causes a sweat to
break out on a black hotel porter's neck.
....by cutting back and forth from one character to another, she achieves
what might be called six degrees of integration -- a panoramic and even
mysterious view of the way diverse citizens immersed in their daily
struggles affect one another.
Naslund shows the quotidian inside every epochal moment, the gradual way
that history unfolds in a thousand little encounters off the main stage --
when people eat supper, when they drink in nightclubs, when they go to work,
when they ride the bus.....
Click here to read the whole review. You may have to register with the New
York Times to access the review, but it's free.
It's a great book, we think. And we also think you should come meet Sena
tomorrow. She'll be doing two public appearances. First, she'll he here at
the store from 4-6 PM for a booksigning. Then, after a very short break,
she'll be downtown at the Rosa Parks Museum at 7 PM, where she'll talk
about, and read from, and sign copies of the book. Both events are of
course free, and we'll be at both places with books for sale. As always, if
you can't come, just let us know, and we'll get books signed for you.
Homer Hickam Tickets
There are still a few tickets available for the Alabama Center For The Book
statewide literary dinner, featuring Homer Hickam, author of the new novel
The Keeper's Son, but probably better known to you as the author of Rocket
Boys, his book of memoirs later made into the movie October Sky. You should
know that Homer is an extremely entertaining person, and this dinner
promises to be a lot of fun. It'll also help fund lots of literary events
around the state that the legislature is fixing to de-fund even as you read
this. Tickets are $60, and include the dinner and a signed first edition
copy of the book, which you can read, or pass along to someone as, say, a
real nice Christmas present. Call us at 334-265-1473 for tickets. The dinner
is next Friday, September 26, downtown at TSUM.
Capitol Book & News Company
1140 E. Fairview Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36106