From vamps and witches to angels, by way of Jesus. That unusual path maps Anne Rice's fictional journey. The Vampire Chronicles author will publish Angel Time: Songs of the Seraphim (Knopf) on October 29. In Angel Time, the first in a series, a contract killer finds redemption after traveling through time to 13th-century England to save a Jewish community.
In blending her renewed religious beliefs with the supernatural themes that made her famous, Rice may have hit on a winning formula—Angel Time has already received a starred review from Booklist, and Kirkus calls it "devilishly clever." What do we think? You'll have to wait until October to find out, but here's a hint: if the opening pages are any indication, the complicated killer for hire Toby O'Dare makes for a compelling lead character; his "guardian" angel Malchia is a powerful presence and the ending will leave readers wanting the next book.
Rice talked with BookPage interviewer Jay MacDonald about her change in course back when Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt was published. She said she'd never return to the "lost souls" who made her famous: "[O]nce I returned to the Church and began to see the universe as a place that really did incorporate redemption and really tried to understand the implications of there being a God, my identification with the vampires as outcasts, as outsiders and lost souls began to totally wane."
Trivia question: what was the very first pick for Oprah’s Book Club? Answer: Jacquelyn Mitchard’s Deep End of the Ocean, a critically acclaimed tale of catastrophe: losing—and finding, nine years later—a child. In the intervening years, the book was made into a film (starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Treat Williams) and Mitchard wrote several bestsellers for adults, young adults, and children.
Fans will be thrilled to learn that Mitchard has finally written a sequel to Deep End of the Ocean. No Time to Wave Goodbye is due to hit bookstores and libraries on September 15. For a sneak peek, here is a quote from the publicity material:
“Now, 13 years later, Mitchard returns to the Cappadora family...Vincent, the oldest Cappadora son, has become a filmmaker. With the help of his brother Ben and sister Kerry, Vincent makes a documentary film about the lifelong trauma of child abduction and receives an Academy Award nomination for his work. On the night of the award ceremony, the Cappadora’s world turns upside once again as their courage, loyalty and faith are tested as never before.”
It has been four years since her blockbuster debut, The Historian, but Elizabeth Kostova is rising again on January 21 with a second act, The Swan Thieves. Instead of literature, this time Kostova's subject is painting—and painters who struggle to balance love and art. The novel goes from 1870s France to the modern day as a Washington, D.C., psychiatrist tries to discover why one of his patients attacked painting in the National Gallery.
She told Powell's she began work on The Swan Thieves before The Historian was even published. "I felt it was important for me to get back to writing right away — to draw that magic, private circle again."
After the jump, a video of Kostova discussing the novel.
Readers are buzzing about the mystery debut from Attica Locke, Black Water Rising. The L.A. Times calls Locke "a writer wise beyond her years," Sarah Weinman is a fan, and the novel garnered positive pre-pub reviews from Library Journal and Kirkus. [via]
Come July, they can add praise from BookPage to that chorus. Whodunit? columnist Bruce Tierney chose Black Water Rising as one of his four favorite mystery debuts of the summer, calling the mystery "an excellent book by any measure, but as a debut, it is nothing short of astonishing."
Can't wait two weeks? Want to discover Bruce's other favorites before the L.A. Times does? Click here for a sneak peek.
After the success of President Obama's books, a family member hopes to follow in his footsteps. Today's Publisher's Lunch announced that his Kenyan half brother, George Obama, will be telling the story of his "fall into crime and poverty as a teenager and his eventual embrace of community organizing and of advocacy for the poor," in Homeland, a book written with Damien Lewis. George Obama reportedly got six figures for the book, which Simon & Schuster will publish in 2010.
As we've mentioned before, finding out what the mailman's brought us is a daily treat. One recent discovery I've got stationed on my desk is Harriet Reisen's Louisa May Alcott (Holt). This "revelatory portrait" (per the back cover copy) of the Little Women author will be on shelves October 27, and promises a fresh take on her life while placing it in the context of her works. Reisen has written for radio, PBS and HBO—and has adapted this biography for an American Masters biopic that will air in December.
Like many women I've been an Alcott fan since childhood, and remember snapping up old copies of her out-of-print works, like Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom while following my mom around antiques stores. I loved the family dynamics (I'd always wanted a sister, or three) and the occasional hints of romance. As a preteen I discovered her ghost stories and pulp fiction. I'd always wished she'd written more, which is part of the reason I enjoyed Geraldine Brooks' wonderful novel, March, so much.
Are you an Alcott fan? and if not, which authors captivated you as a child? I have many more on my list but I'll have to save them for another blog post.
Another book talked up during one of Books-A-Million's publisher-buyer meetings: The last-minute addition to the McSweeney's fall list of an adult novel based on Where the Wild Things Are, titled simply, Wild Things (October). The author? Dave Eggers, who adapted the children's book into the screenplay for the anticipated movie directed by Spike Jonze.
Like the movie, the adult novelization seems to have followed a rocky road, with a delay or two along the way. A 2008 Publisher's Weekly article reported that the book would be published as a joint venture between Harper and McSweeney's but would bear the Ecco imprint (they happen to publish Eggers' wife, Vendela Vida). Now it looks like the project is being handled McSweeney's alone—perhaps Harper wasn't up for producing the (faux) fur-covered special edition? Perseus will distribute.
Little information on the book is available other than the publisher's annotation:
Wild Things is about the confusions of a boy, Max, making his way in a world he can’t control. His father is gone, his mother is spending time with a younger boyfriend, his sister is becoming a teenager and no longer has interest in him. At the same time, Max finds himself capable of startling acts of wildness: he wears a wolf suit, bites his mom, and can’t always control his outbursts. During a fight at home, Max flees and runs away into the woods. He finds a boat there, jumps in, and ends up on the open sea, destination unknown. He lands on the island of the Wild Things, and soon he becomes their king. But things get complicated when Max realizes that the Wild Things want as much from him as he wants from them. Funny, dark, and alive, The Wild Things is a timeless and time-tested tale for all ages.
Where the Wild Things Are
Away We Go
Congratulations to our own romance columnist Christie Ridgway, who just signed a deal with Berkley to publish a new series of contemporary romance novels. Set in Napa, The Three Kisses trilogy focuses on three single sisters who are fighting to keep their struggling vineyard afloat—and the smoking hot bachelor brothers who are the sisters' biggest competitors. Or, in Christie's words: “One failing winery, two feuding families, three unforgettable pairings.” The first book is tentatively scheduled for next summer. I have very fond, fuzzy memories of a trip I took to Napa a couple of years ago—Christie, if you need help with all that research, give me a call!
If you haven't read Christie's column for June, check it out here. In my humble (and yes, biased) opinion, it's a must-read for any romance or women's fiction fan.
ETA: Anyone with Napa Valley area insights for Christie, feel free to share in the comments.
The New York Times may be bemoaning the state of publishing/bookselling, but there's a strong fall shaping up, with the return of many favorite authors. We've already posted about Stephen King, Pat Conroy, Dan Brown, Barbara Kingsolver and A.S. Byatt. Now Diana Gabaldon enters the list in October with a new installment in her popular Outlander series. An Echo in the Bone is set during the American revolution and pits Jamie against his illegitimate son who is fighting for the British. At a reported 992 pages, this is a book readers can get lost in, and should keep them occupied until Spring 2010, when Del Rey will release a graphic novel based on the series.
Gabaldon was an early internet adopter, and former BookPage editor Ann Shayne was an early fan. Check out their 1997 Q&A here.
That's what David Young, chairman and CEO of Hachette Book Group, hopes for Twelve's upcoming memoir from Senator Ted Kennedy. At a recent meeting with Books-A-Million, Young told buyers that editor Jamie Raab says True Compass "delivers" and described the book as "electrifying."
True Compass covers everything from Kennedy's youth to the current day in surprising detail. "Revelations in this book will amaze people," Young said, promising that Kennedy "went everywhere we wanted him to go" in the memoir -- including Chappaquiddick -- and that the scene where Kennedy informs their father of his brother Jack's death is especially poignant. The book will, of course, be embargoed until its October 6 release date. Will you read?