Author News and Book Reports
Mona Simpson, Ann Patchett, and Lucinda Franks compare notes on life, lit, and love
With an introduction by Eve Ensler's V-Day Board of Directors member and 2014 Path Award winner Lisa Schejola Akin, three of America's bestselling, award-winning writers took the stage at the 2014 Miami Book Fair International to talk about their most recent books and offer free-ranging observations on life, lit, and love. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, memoirist, and novelist Lucinda Franks began with a reading from her second memoir, Timeless: Love, Morgenthau, and Me, soon to be released in trade paperback (Sarah Crichton Books; August, 2015), detailing how she, a journalist/activist, who would break the law to get a story, fell in love with former longtime, button-downed District Attorney for New York County Robert M. Morgenthau, and passages about their courtship and blended family issues. Former editor at the Paris Review, bestselling, award-winning author, and biological sister of the late Apple Computers founder, Steve Jobs, Mona Simpson followed with a purview of her new bestselling family/detective drama Casebook, recently released in trade paperback (Vintage; February, 2015). Bestselling, award-winning author Ann Patchett then joined Franks and Simpson, all of whom have experienced blended families and divorce, in a discussion of mothers, marriages, and ex's. Simpson, who has lived in Los Angeles since she moved there as a teenager with her mother after her mother's divorce, extended the conversation to offer insights into her long-running bestseller My Hollywood (Vintage; August, 2011) and recalled discovering Ann Patchett in the slush pile while an editor at the Paris Review. Reflecting on the privacy concerns of authors Hilary Mantel and Marcel Proust, Patchett then steered the discussion to her new role as co-founder of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, and the challenges of balancing her private life with being a public ambassador promoting reading and charity. The panel of women writers wrapped with questions from the audience on Patchett's perennial bestselling novel State of Wonder, recently re-released in trade paperback (Harper Perennial; September, 2014) and her trip to the Amazon jungles of Brazil; Simpson's portrait of her mother; Patchett's bestselling book of personal essays, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, recently released in trade paperback (Harper Perennial; October, 2014) and extended conversation with Franks and Simpson on politics, marriage, love, and 'personal nuns'; Franks' future projects and her switch from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to fiction writer.