Hello! I had previously posted with bold intentions that I was going to offer a list of some of my favorite books of last year, but we are now well into June with no such list! My apologies for that, but there is good reason for the silence: I have been working non-stop on the final edits and copy-edits to CIRCE. I still have a few last checks to do, but by and large the manuscript is finished, and my editor is sending out early bound copies, which is always exciting.
I can now also officially announce my publication dates: April 10th in the US, and May 3rd in the UK. I will be doing some book tour stops for both, which I’m very much looking forward to. When I have that schedule, I will post it both here and in my events.
I will have lots more updates coming down the line, including covers (!) for the two editions, and maybe even excerpts as we draw closer. And I actually am working on a list of some recent books I’ve read/am reading, since there is such a bonanza of Classical offerings out now, including Natalie Haynes’ The Children of Jocasta, David Vann’s Bright Air Black and Colm Toibin’s House of Names. But in the meantime, I will leave you with my favorite Homeric description of Circe:
“Fair-tressed Circe, the dread goddess who speaks like a mortal.”– Homer, Odyssey, X.136
(By the way, that word “fair-tressed” is one of those lovely ancient Greek adjectives that makes me so glad I’m not a translator and so appreciative of their art. More literally it’s: “having beautifully dressed hair” but that doesn’t exactly roll trippingly off the tongue…)
Happy well-dressed hair and summer to all!
Hello to all!
I hope that you are having a wonderful holiday season. Thank you again to all the people who sent me notes on social media or through my website about their excitement for Circe! I’m so grateful and appreciative. Your faith in my work will buoy me through the days of edits and copyedits ahead.
Some readers have been in touch about personalized copies for holiday gifts. Yes! I am happy to do that through Main Point Books. They are terrific people to work with, and if you have any trouble with their site or you have a special issue, just email them and they will figure it out. They do ship to the UK, and may be able to work out other international shipping too. They are a paragon of what it means to be an indie bookstore, and I’m so glad to have found them.
At the end of the year I often like to make a list of books that I’ve particularly enjoyed or been moved by. That will be coming soon!
Wishing you a warm season with lovely books to read.
Friday, October 7th, 2016
I am delighted to announce that Circe is going to be published with Bloomsbury in the UK sometime in 2018! I loved working with the fabulous Bloomsbury team on The Song of Achilles, and am thrilled to be returning for Circe.
I also wanted to thank all those who posted kind messages on social media, my website, and elsewhere about the upcoming new book. You have warmed this author’s heart!
Wishing you a wonderful day.
Tuesday, October 4th, 2016
I am thrilled to be able to announce that my second novel, narrated by Circe, the witch from the Odyssey, is in the hands of my US editor, Lee Boudreaux. The book is scheduled, as of now, to come out in the US early in 2018, published by Lee Boudreaux Books, an imprint of Little Brown. I am delighted to be working with Lee again, who was my editor for The Song of Achilles, and can’t wait for Circe to find her way to the shelves. More news as it comes–including, very soon, news on the UK edition!
Wishing you all a happy beginning to autumn!
December 3rd, 2015
I’ve been receiving lots of requests for signed and personalized books, and I’m glad to announce that they are available once more, thanks to the lovely people at Main Point Books in Bryn Mawr, PA!
For a signed copy of The Song of Achilles, use this link to order, and in the “comment” box note that you would like the copy signed, and what inscription (if any) you’d like. Then I’ll come in and sign/personalize, and Main Point will drop it in the mail wherever you’d like.
If it’s a more complicated order, please also feel free to contact Main Point directly, they are very responsive. Their number is: (610) 525-1480, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am wishing you all a very happy holiday season!
October 12th, 2015
I’ve finally finished relocating from Cambridge back to the Philadelphia-area. It was very sad to leave behind the fabulous Independent bookstores of Cambridge, especially Porter Square books, which for the past several years has been my bookstore home-away-from-home. If you’re ever in the Cambridge area, you should definitely drop by and say hello! But I’m excited to develop new relationships with the Indie bookstores around Philadelphia, including the very lovely people at Main Point Books in Bryn Mawr and Headhouse Books in the city.
Speaking of which, Main Point Books has very kindly invited me to join their Book Club discussion of The Song of Achilles this Wednesday, October 14th, at 7PM. I’ll be there to answer questions, speak with readers and sign books. I’m looking forward to it! Main Point Books and I are also going to set up a continuation of my arrangement with Porter Square Books–so if you’re interested in getting a copy of The Song of Achilles personalized by me, please get in touch with them. As we firm things up, I’ll post here with more details and easy links.
Another bit of exciting news: the Bailey’s Prize (formerly the Orange Prize) is hosting a celebration of their last ten years, called Best of the Best, and I’m thrilled that The Song of Achilles is a part of that. I’m so grateful to the Orange Prize for the opportunities they’ve opened for me personally, but more significantly, I’m grateful for the work they do to bring attention to women writers across the world. In fact, I wrote an essay about it.
Finally, I couldn’t close without mentioning that my fabulous US editor for The Song of Achilles, Lee Boudreaux, just got profiled in The Bookseller! I was fortunate enough to get to be one of the authors raving about her.
I hope that the fall season is treating everyone very well, and best wishes for all the days ahead.
This posting is long overdue, but I’m thrilled to finally report that Caryn Mandabach Productions Ltd., producer of the acclaimed BBC series Peaky Blinders, has optioned the rights to Song of Achilles for a possible television mini-series. I will look forward to providing more updates on this if/as they develop!
Sunday, August 31st, 2014
I’m very happy to announce that Porter Square Books, my local indie, now does international shipping! So those of you outside the US who wanted a signed and/or personalized copy of The Song of Achilles, Porter Square can now ship you one. If you’re interested, the details are here.
I’m a few months late on posting this, but here is a piece I wrote for Waterstones’ Writer’s Year series. It’s about the Bailey’s Prize (formerly the Orange Prize), my mom and tractor driving.
On to the events:
Thursday, September 11th 2014, 7PM, Newtonville Books, Newton, MA.
The terrific Newtonville Books has invited me to lead their September Celebrity Book Club. We’re going to be talking about one of my all-time favorite reads, Watership Down. Richard Adams’ tale of epic adventure and friendship among a band of rabbits is gripping, poignant and complex. Read it for the first time, or read it again; either way, come join us to discuss!
September 19th 2014, 7:30PM, Newton North High School, Newton, MA
As I mentioned in my previous post, Newton director Melissa Bernstein is staging the second part of The Song of Achilles on September 18th, 19th and 20th. I’ll be doing a talkback after the show on Friday the 19th. (Bonus: if you come to the Watership Down event above, you’ll have a chance to meet Melissa as well).
October 2nd 2014, 7:15PM, LA Library, Los Angeles, CA
I’m also thrilled to be doing an event in California on October 2nd for the LA Library’s ALOUD series. I’ll be talking about Homeric adaptation with novelist and Classicist Zachary Mason, who wrote the terrific Lost Books of the Odyssey.
October 28th 2014, 7PM, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
Finally, I’m going to be at Porter Square books interviewing Eimear McBride, author of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, which won the 2014 Bailey’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize).
Saturday, August 30th, 2014
Last spring Newton director Melissa Bernstein staged the first half of The Song of Achilles. It was a pleasure and honor to see the actors bring these characters so vividly to life, and I remember being particularly impressed that, despite knowing it was coming, I jumped when Thetis appeared for the first time. In these days of CGI everything, it was a reminder of just how much magic good directors and actors can make with makeup, a few lights, and a sound cue.
So, I’m thrilled to announce that Melissa and her team are back with Part II! The production, The Song of Achilles: Troy, stages the second half of the book, and goes up this September, Thursday the 18th, Friday the 19th and Saturday the 20th at 7:30 PM. I will once again be doing a talkback with the cast after the show on Friday the 19th, so if you come, please say hello!
Tickets are available through Melissa’s website, The Newton Theatre Company, where you can also find more details about the show. As before, the production is co-produced with Newton North High School, and features Boston-area actors of all ages. All proceeds go towards covering the school’s theater operating costs.
Hope to see you there!
Sunday, March 23rd, 2014
Many months ago, I did an event at the fabulous Newtonville Books, in Newton MA, where I had the good fortune to meet local theater director Melissa Bernstein, who expressed an interest in doing a non-profit, staged reading of “The Song of Achilles.” As a theater lover and director myself, I was thrilled, especially when I saw her passion for the project. I am delighted to announce that after months of hard work by her and her cast, this event, now officially “The Song of Achilles: A Staging” goes up in Newton this weekend!
The production, which tackles the first half of the novel, is produced in collaboration with local high school Newton North, and features Boston-area actors of all ages. Here are the performance dates and times:
Thursday, March 27th, 7:30 PM: Acts I and II (taking Achilles and Patroclus through their time with the teacher Chiron).
Friday, March 28th, 7:30 PM: Acts III and IV (following Achilles and Patroclus from Chiron until just before sailing to Troy).
Saturday, March 29th, 3:00 PM-9:00 PM: Acts I-IV all together, including an intermission with free dinner.
I’ll be doing a talkback after Friday’s performance with Melissa, and will also be in the audience on Thursday and Friday, and possibly Saturday as well. So if you come, please say hello!
More information on the show and reserving tickets can be found here—all proceeds go to cover the school’s theater operating costs. Hope to see you there!
Reviews“A startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist... a book I could not put down.” Ann Patchett, author of the Orange Prize-winning Bel Canto