You Saw Them At Square Books First

Square Books has served as a springboard for a number of auspicious literary beginnings. Authors whose first bookstore signings were held here include John Grisham (A Time To Kill), Larry Brown (Facing the Music), Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain), and (in the U.S.) Australian Richard Flanagan (The Sound of One Hand Clapping) and Canadian Yann Martel (The Life of Pi). We have learned recently that the authors of two of the most highly anticipated first novels to be published this fall -- worthy of comparison to those writers mentioned already -- will do inaugural events here -- Lance Weller on September 4, and Kevin Powers, September 10.

Wilderness has received frequent early comparisons, coincidentally, to Charles Frazier's first novel. Set in Washington State thirty years after the Civil War's Battle of Wilderness, in which Abel Truman had fought, the aged veteran undertakes a final quest in which he rediscovers violence and brutality. Abel also finds a generous, kind spirit of humanity in this place, the account of which Annie Dillard said "the landscapes are huge" and "Abel's story...both simple and rich, the novel unforgettable."

In 2004 and 2005 Kevin Powers was a machine gunner in Mosul and Tal Afar, the combat setting of The Yellow Birds in chapters that alternate with the story's stateside events. This short novel is written with great intensity and artistry. Described by Colm Toibin as "compelling" and Ann Patchett as "inexplicably beautiful," Tom Wolfe has hailed The Yellow Birds as "The All Quiet on the Western Front of America's Arab Wars."

Please join us to help Oxford welcome two promising writers into the world of readers. RH