Welcome back to another season of readings – the thirteenth! – by celebrated and up-and-coming authors whose literary explorations remind us of the joy and human connection behind storytelling in any form. Behind the Book is proud to welcome returning authors Hannah Tinti and Victoria Redel, whose deeply humane and lyrical stories transport us into lives we might never want to leave.
Hannah Tinti is a writer, editor, and teacher. Her new novel, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, has been optioned by director Matt Reeves, producer Michael Costigan, & Endemol Shine. Both a coming-of-age novel and a literary thriller, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley explores the relationship between father and daughter after the mysterious death of his wife/her mother, what it means to be a hero, and the cost we pay to protect the people we love most. Her short story collection, Animal Crackers, has sold in sixteen countries and was a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway award. Her best-selling novel, The Good Thief, is a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, recipient of the American Library Association’s Alex Award, winner of the The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and winner of the Quality Paperback Book Club’s New Voices Award. In 2002, she co-founded the award-winning magazine One Story, where she is now Executive Editor. In 2009, she received the PEN/Nora Magid award for excellence in editing, and in 2014 One Story won the AWP Prize for Best Small Press. In 2011, she joined the Public Radio program, Selected Shorts, as their Literary Commentator, interviewing authors and actors about the importance of literature and reading. She co-founded the Sirenland Writers Conference in Italy with Dani Shapiro, Michael Maren, and Antonio & Carla Sersale. She has taught writing at New York University’s Graduate Creative Writing Program, Columbia University’s MFA program, CUNY, and at the Museum of Natural History in New York City.
“A master class in literary suspense.” – The Washington Post
“This is a convincingly redemptive and celebratory novel: an affirmation of the way that heroism and human fallibility coexist, of how good parenting comes in unexpected packages, and of the way that we are marked by our encounters with each other and the luminous universe in which we dwell.” – Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
Victoria Redel is the author of three books of poetry and five books of fiction. Her new novel, Before Everything, about longtime friends who come together to care for one of their own, is an unflinching and affecting look at how one woman’s final days change the lives of those around her. Her novel The Border of Truth weaves the situation of refugees and a daughter’s awakening to the history and secrets of her father’s survival and loss. It was a Barnes and Noble Great New Writers Discovery Selection. Loverboy was awarded the 2001 S. Mariella Gable Novel Award and the 2002 Forward Silver Literary Fiction Prize and was chosen in 2001 as a Los Angeles Times Best Book. Loverboy was adapted for a feature film directed by Kevin Bacon. Swoon was a finalist for the James Laughlin Award. Her work has been widely anthologized and translated. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and journals including Granta.com., The New York Times, O the Oprah magazine, Elle, and Bomb, amongst others. She is on the graduate and undergraduate faculty of Sarah Lawrence College, and has received fellowships from The Guggenheim Foundation, The National Endowment for The Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center.
“Redel has crafted a lyrical ode to female friendship, proving that bonds can somehow be made of iron and elastic, sometimes strong and sometimes frail. – Booklist (starred review)
“Redel’s new novel brings to mind Virginia Woolf’s The Waves.” – BBC Culture’s Ten Books to read in June