John Grisham's new novel, Gray Mountain, is now on our shelves as a signed first edition. Gray Mountain is set in the shadow of the recent financial crisis with a corporate lawyer, Samantha Kofer, at its center - Grisham's first female protagonist since The Pelican Brief. After losing her big-wig job in New York City, Samantha is cast off to small-town Appalachia and finds herself wrapped up in Big Coal. Grisham's new legal thriller, deemed "angry and important," dives deep into Big Coal and promises to enlighten the reader while delivering an imaginative and enthralling story. The Washington Post summarized, "This novel... shows Grisham's work - always superior entertainment - evolving into something more serious, more powerful, more worthy of his exceptional talent."
Grove Atlantic Publishing sent Richard Flanagan to Mississippi for the Oxford Conference for the Book in 2000 on his U.S. tour for The Sound of One Hand Clapping. Those were heady times. Larry Brown, William Gay ("Willie" to Richard) and Barry Hannah were all still with us. We found his writing powerful, affecting, and empathetic, while we found Richard to be humble, affectionate and simpatico. Since then, Richard has returned to Oxford for all but one of his six novels; each time building a larger reading audience and making more friends. It has been seven years since we had an event for The Unknown Terrorist, and we were anxious to welcome him back to his spiritual home in the United States.
To make it official, Mayor Pat Patterson issued a proclamation declaring Richard Flanagan an honorary citizen of Oxford and he was given a bag of the best tchotchkes our Tourism Office has to offer. Flanagan went on to speak eloquently about Oxford, about The Narrow Road to the Deep North and his father. The audience was visibly moved and many expressed thanks for the best reading they had ever attended. We are happy to be able to share videos taken during the event here and here. And we were thrilled -- but not surprised -- to find out on September 9th that The Narrow Road to the Deep North is named to the short list for the Man Booker Prize (see the finalists here). We are placing all bets on him.
The Fall 2014 Dear Reader is available for online viewing and is packed full of debuts from authors who are going to be visiting us soon such as Malcom Brooks with PAINTED HORSES, John Darnielle with WOLF IN WHITE VAN and Katy Simpson Smith with THE STORY OF LAND AND SEA. Plus, new books from favorite authors Curtis Wilkie, John Hailman, John Grisham, and Richard Flanagan, Richard Ford, Darcey Steinke, Frederick Barthelme, and -- for the first time here -- children's authors Chris Van Allsburg & Jon Scieszka.