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.
David Gilbert’s novel & Sons is about a somewhat reclusive author who has written a book that has captured the imaginations of readers through the decades, much like J.D. Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye.
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 the preface of her novel Y, Marjorie Celona writes about that perfect letter. "The wishbone, fork in the road, empty wineglass. The question we ask over and over... Coupled with an L, let's make an adverb... a Greek letter (that) joined the Latin alphabet after the Romans conquered Greece in the first century--a double agent: consonant and vowel. No one used adverbs before then, and no one was happy."