Novels and musical forms

I had the privilege of participating as a debut novelist with other authors at the Tucson Festival of Books (said to be the 3rd largest in the nation!) last month. Both of my panel sessions were standing room only, a testament to the reading public in this region and the organizers for coming up with very appealing topics and participants!

I made it a point to read the novels of all my fellow panelists as a prep exercise for the sessions. Just as a way to organize the novels in my head and discuss them, I associated each one with a musical form. And of course, it wouldn’t have been fair if I didn’t also include mine:

Purchase, Christopher Doyle – Lamentation (about the origins of country music and the plight of an African-American musician in the early part of the last century)

Running the Rift, Naomi Benaron – Requiem (about a runner with an Olympic dream in the midst of the Rwandan genocide)

The World of Tomorrow, Brendan Mathews – Rhapsody (Irish immigrants making New York City their own in early part of the last century)

In the Distance, Hernan Diaz – Aria (a Swedish immigrant lost in the landscape, figuratively and literally, of the post-Civil War American West)

Sycamore, Bryn Chancellor – Ballad (the discovery, and consequences of, the remains of a young woman who disappears years earlier in a small Arizona town)

The Moment Before, Jason Makansi – String Quartet (America’s global ambitions reduced to one father, his daughter, and the two men who seek to reunite them)

Not sure there’s a better way to spend a weekend in Spring than immersing yourself in the world of books and reading. I hope these little teasers will entice you into looking more deeply into these books and authors of my compatriots for that weekend! The photo below will be a forever reminder of the experience.

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