When Lee Sandlin was a young boy growing up in Chicago, each summer he was dropped off at the family home in Edwardsville, Ill., to stay with two great-aunts and two great-uncles. Sandlin describes his time there as a boot camp in old-fashioned values.
Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence by David Samuel Levinson is set in a sleepy university town a couple hours outside of New York City. The novel has a familiar cast of characters: an author, a book critic and the women who loved them.
Cathleen Schine's journey to becoming an author included brief stints in medieval history and shoe buying at Bloomingdale's. Not a likely trajectory toward a profession as a novelist, especially since she turned to writing as a fall-back career.
In terms of setting and mood, Bill Roorbach’s novel Life Among Giants contains no shortage of creative derring-do. It largely takes place in the 1970s, when the Miami Dolphins ruled the National Football League. In fact, the narrator of the novel, David “Lizard” Hochmeyer, spends time in a Dolphins uniform as a backup quarterback to Bob Griese.