A|U Authors

BEFORE WE WERE YOURS Celebrates 1 Year on NYT Bestseller List!

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Congrats to A|U Author Lisa Wingate, who’s Before We Were Yours celebrates its one year anniversary this week as a New York Times Bestseller! This blockbuster hit is a thought-provoking and complex tale of two families, two generations apart… based on a notorious true life scandal.

Readers across the country have been captivated by Before We Were Yours, selecting for countless Book Clubs and library discussion groups. Lisa’s author events have been packed to capacity, owing in large part to the books powerful topic, and Lisa’s amazing ability to connect with readers in person.

Before We Were Yours is a perfect choice for One Book One Community programs! Interested in hosting her? The 2019 schedule is filling fast, so get in touch with us today!

Lisa Wingate could be the poster child for the perfect author. She’s gracious, kind, generous, super talented and knows how to engage an audience. The Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Clubs adore discussing her books. There is a good reason we invite her year after year; she sets the standard for great books to place in the hands of real readers. We are so thankful she continues to educate, enlighten, and tell a great story. Lisa Wingate is giving voice to those who could not tell their own.
— The Pulpwood Queens Book Club
We were thrilled to host Lisa Wingate at Books in Bloom on May 20, 2018, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Lisa Wingate’s talk focused on her inspiration for writing and the culture and background of the historical period in which her novel, Before We Were Yours, was set. The author had a very good rapport with the audience, and was very engaging, relaxed and relatable. She was an inspiring presenter, engaging her audience immediately. The hour slipped away very quickly.
— Books In Bloom Literary Festival
A [story] of a family lost and found . . . A poignant, engrossing tale about sibling love and the toll of secrets.
— People Magazine
Before We Were Yours is sure to be one of the most compelling books you pick up this year. . . . [Lisa] Wingate is a master-storyteller, and you’ll find yourself pulled along as she reveals the wake of terror and heartache that is Georgia Tann’s legacy.
— Parade Magazine

Host Post | Fall 2018

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Welcome to the Fall 2018 Authors Unbound quarterly Host Newsletter! We'll use this space to keep you updated on what other outstanding hosts around the country are up to, provide valuable information on event management and organization, and feature authors who we highly recommend for your next author engagement.

National Suicide Prevention Month - Powerful Programming

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September is National Suicide Prevention month, an annual campaign in the United States to inform and engage health professionals and the general public about suicide prevention and the warning signs of suicide. There’s not better way to bring light to this important topic than through powerful programming and author events.

Monica Wood, bestselling author of When We Were the Kennedys and One-in-a-Million Boy shares her personal story about the suicide attempt of her husband of 41 years. "People do just get completely overwhelmed with life sometimes and that is what happened,” Wood said. “And sometimes it's just a perfect storm of things that can happen. If it can happen to him, it could happen to anybody."

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Alix Strauss, NYT reporter and author of Death Becomes Them, explores mental illness and addiction through the topics of suicide, hoping to end the stigma of discussing these issues openly, particularly among young people.

By the time you finish reading this piece, someone will have committed suicide. And 44,000 American die by suicide each year, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the US. That’s an average of 121 suicides per day. If you or someone you know is struggling, please call the National Suicide Prevention line: 1-800-273-8255.

Andrew Forsthoefel Inspires Students to Listen

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Andrew Forsthoefel is the author of Walking to Listen, a travel memoir (based on his This American Life radio piece) about a year he spent walking 4,000 miles across America after his graduation from Middlebury College in 2011. 

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Walking to Listen has been chosen as the all-school read for many schools, academies and universities this fall, including Tabor Academy, Langley High School, and Elms College. Andrew has earned wonderful feedback in engaging with students as a storyteller, listening teacher, and workshop facilitator.

Andrew’s hope is to connect with more students in this way, to share the power of walking with and for one another—the power of listening. The remarkable stories in this book—stories that happened on the road, with a large and diverse array of Americans—are a testament to the ways in which listening is the keystone component for healing in our hurting country.

There’s never been a better moment to help our young people learn how to listen thoughtfully. If you’d like to explore options for a visit with Andrew, be in touch with us today!

 Village Harmony Campers read  Walking to Listen!

Village Harmony Campers read Walking to Listen!

Imbolo Mbue Featured for the Dyson School's Dean's Distinguished Speaker Series

Courtesy of Cornell Chronicle
Posted September 10, 2018

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Novelist and short story writer Imbolo Mbue will speak on the Cornell University campus Thursday, Sept. 13, as part of the Dyson School’s Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series. The 7 p.m. lecture in Kennedy Hall’s Call Auditorium is free and open to the public and will be followed by a book signing.

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Mbue left her native Limbe, Cameroon, to study in the U.S., and received a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and a master’s from Columbia University. She became a U.S. citizen in 2014, the same year she signed a $1 million deal for her novel, “Behold the Dreamers,” which won the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and was selected by Oprah Winfrey for her book club. The novel has been translated into 12 languages, was adapted into an opera, is about to become a stage play, and was recently optioned for a movie.

All new first-year Dyson students read “Behold the Dreamers” over the summer and have discussed it in small groups.

Pace University Welcomes Imbolo Mbue for Convocation Keynote

Courtesy of Pace University
Posted September 5, 2018
 

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Pace University held its 11th Annual Convocation Ceremony in Pleasantville Tuesday. Convocation, the Latin word for “calling together” brought the freshmen class on campus to meet the wider Pace community.  Incoming Pace University students heard from Pace President Marvin Krislov, Provost Vanya Quiñones, fellow Pace students and award-winning author, Imbolo Mbue.

Imbolo Mbue gave the keynote speech. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Behold the Dreamers, which was read by the incoming class over the summer. Mbue's book is informed by her experience of being an African immigrant and the experiences of immigrants from around the world who shared their stories with her. Behold the Dreamers, by Imbolo Mbue, is a novel that weaves together the stories of two different families during the financial crisis of 2007-2008 in New York City.

Go get 'em, Class of 2020!

 

Elle UK Announces Inaugural Big Book Award - CIRCE!

Courtesy of Elle UK Magazine
Posted Sept 4, 2018

From a long list of nine page-turning reads, the winner of the inaugural Big Book Award is a feminist romp through the classical world - Madeline Miller's Circe!

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Even if you don’t know your Athena from your Aphrodite, Circe manages to be a compelling novel for every reader. It tells the story of Homer’s The Odyssey from the point of view of Circe, the first witch in literature, infamous for turning Odysseus’s men into pigs. Here, she gets to tell her own story as a protagonist – not as a side note. As ELLE’s editor-in-chief, Anne-Marie Curtis, one of the Big Book judges, puts it: ‘I never thought I’d describe a book as a feminist romp through Greek mythology, but this is it! Madeline Miller recasts Circe’s witchery in a whole new, empowering light, and the result is a riveting tale for today’s times.’

Read Elle UK's interview with Madeline here!

Crystal Wilkinson Has a Banner Summer!

Courtesy of Broadway World Books
Posted: Aug 30, 2018

A|U author Crystal Wilkinson's novel, The Birds of Opulence, has been named the winner of the 2016 Appalachian Writers Association's Appalachian Book of the Year for Fiction. The multigenerational novel follows four generations of women in a bucolic southern black township as they live with and sometimes surrender to madness. This marks the fourth award The Birds of Opulence has won, including the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, the Weatherford Award for Fiction, and the Judy Gaines Young Book Award.

In addition to garnering awards and serving as the inspiration for public art, The Birds of Opulence was also named the debut selection of the Open Canon Book Club. The club was created by New York Times bestselling (and fellow A|U) author Wiley Cash to introduce readers to voices and portrayals of the American experience they may not have otherwise encountered in their day-to-day lives, their education, or their book club meetings. Each month, Cash will post discussion questions and host live book club discussions online and in independent bookstores.

Congrats, Crystal!

A|U Monthly Muse - September 2018

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September 2018: Titles on the Horizon

Sweater weather is almost here, and we're excited to curl up next to the wood stove with a new book! Check out these four exciting recent or forthcoming titles! 

SOLD ON A MONDAY Available Today!

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Happy Pub Day, Kristina McMorris!

We're so excited this wonderful novel is now officially out in the world! Inspired by a heartbreaking newspaper photo, Sold on a Monday follows a Depression-era reporter who snaps a photograph of two children being sold on a farmhouse porch, leading to his big break - and consequences more devastating than he ever imagined.

The photo first appeared in The Vidette-Messenger in 1948 and, in a brief caption, claimed to exhibit the desperation of a family in Chicago. As a mom herself, Kristina wondered what could have possibly pushed a parent to that point. Possible answers to that question soon became the foundation of Sold on a Monday.

Buy your copy from a independent local bookstore!

Rachel Kadish's THE WEIGHT OF INK Wins Julia Ward Howe Prize for Fiction

Courtesy of The Boston Authors Club
Posted August 27, 2018

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Congrats to Rachel Kadish, who's outstanding novel The Weight of Ink has been awarded the Julia Ward Howe Prize for Fiction.  The Boston Authors Club was founded in 1899 to further literary purposes and to promote social interaction among authors living in Boston and vicinity. The annual Julia Ward Howe Awards (named after the Club's first President) honor the Boston-area authors of outstanding adult and young reader books published in the prior year. 

Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history. 

The Weight of Ink  has previously been honored with a National Jewish Book Award, and Rachel is a previous recipient of the Association of Jewish Libraries Fiction Award, and the John Gardner Fiction Award.

 

A WELL BEHAVED WOMAN to be Developed for TV!

Courtesy of Publishers Marketplace
Posted: August 16, 2018

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It hasn't even hit bookstore shelves yet, and Therese Anne Fowler's forthcoming novel, A Well Behaved Woman is already slated for Sony Pictures Television for an upcoming series!  The novel, which follows iron-willed Alva Vanderbilt and her illustrious family as they rule Gilded-Age New York, will be published in October by St. Martin's Press.

With a nod to Jane Austen and Edith Wharton,  A Well-Behaved Woman paints a glittering world of enormous wealth contrasted against desperate poverty, of social ambition and social scorn, of friendship and betrayal, and an unforgettable story of a remarkable woman. Meet Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont, living proof that history is made by those who know the rules—and how to break them.

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Fowler's first novel, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, was also adapted for television.  Amazon Prime launched the series, which starred Christina Ricci.

Congrats, Therese!  We can't wait to see Alva come to life on screen!

Lisa Wingate's BEFORE WE WERE YOURS the 3rd Best Selling Novel of 2018 (so far)!

Courtesy of WriterMag.com
Posted July 26, 2018

This runaway best-seller was released more than a year ago, yet sales still surge, keeping this novel at the #25 spot on Amazon’s list, and the #3 bestselling novel overall. Winner of the Southern Book Prize, the novel is based on a real-life nightmare in America’s history, when Georgia Tann kidnapped thousands of poor Sourthern children to sell to the wealthy for decades. Author and former journalist Lisa Wingate is no stranger to fiction, with 20+ novels under her belt and a slew of literary awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. The Huffington Post calls Before We Were Yours “one of the year’s best books” in 2017.

Interested in hosting Lisa for an author event?  Get in touch with us today!  And buy your copy of Before We Were Yours here.

A WELL BEHAVED WOMAN Among the Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2018!

Courtesy of Publishers Weekly
Posted July 26, 2018

Therese Anne Fowler's forthcoming A Well Behaved Woman (Oct 2018) is among Publishers Weekly most anticipated Books of Fall 2018!

Therese’s work has been translated into more than twenty foreign languages and is published around the world. Her first novel, Z is now available as an original dramatic series for Amazon Studios starring Christina Ricci.

What Therese has discovered is that she has an affinity for badass women from history whose stories have been either mistold or are largely untold. Her next novel centers on Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont, a determined, opinionated, compassionate, often amusing woman from America’s Gilded Age. A Well-Behaved Woman, a kind of homage to Edith Wharton with a dash of affection for Jane Austen for good measure, will be published by St. Martin’s Press on October 16, 2018.

Congrats, Therese!

A|U Monthly Muse - August 2018

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August 2018: Great Reads for Hot Nights

Still looking for a good book to help beat the August heat?  Check out these three amazing titles that transport readers!  Madeline Miller's Circe is a blisteringly modern superwoman drawn from ancient myth. Jamie Ford's Love and Other Consolation Prizes shines light on a fascinating and tragic bit of forgotten history.  And Crystal Wilkinson's The Birds of Opulence illuminates a bucolic southern black township, and several generations of women who have vexing relationships with the land, one another, and the fight to survive.  Be sure to check out Wiley Cash's Open Canon Book Club (featuring The Birds of Opulence in September), where readers from across the country will gather in virtual discussion! Stay cool... and let us know what you're reading!

Happy Pub Day, Dawn Raffel!

Out today... The Strange Case of Dr. Couney: How a Mysterious European Showman Saved Thousands of American Babies!

The extraordinary tale of how a mysterious immigrant "doctor" became the revolutionary innovator of saving premature babies--by placing them in incubators in World's Fair side shows and on Coney Island and Atlantic City. How this turn-of-the-twentieth-century émigré became the savior to families with premature infants, known then as "weaklings"--while ignoring the scorn of the medical establishment and fighting the climate of eugenics--is one of the most astounding stories of modern medicine. And as readers will find, Dr. Couney, for all his opportunistic entrepreneurial gusto, is a surprisingly appealing character, someone who genuinely cared for the well-being of his tiny patients. But he had something to hide.

Drawing on historical documents, original reportage, and interviews with surviving patients, acclaimed journalist and magazine editor Dawn Raffel tells the marvelously eccentric story of Couney's mysterious carnival career, his larger-than-life personality, and his unprecedented success as the savior of tiny babies. Buy your copy here!

Interested in hosting Dawn for an upcoming event?  We're working on her Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 schedule now - get in touch with us today!

What Would You Say to Men If You Knew They Were Listening?

A|U Author Andrew Forsthoefel wants your input! He's facilitating a workshop for men (and all those who identify as such) on the practice of trustworthy listening, and its role in 1) understanding the wounds of sexism, and then, if we can keep listening, and if we're graced, 2) healing those wounds.

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Andrew is asking men to listen: to themselves, to each other, to women. He'd like to take some time in the workshop to hear about what all kinds of women have to say about the topics of men/masculinity and listening.  That's where we need your help!

Would you please give 20 minutes of your day to a group of men who will be gathering with the sincere intention to learn how to be better listeners? With the help of some sisters and aunties, Andrew has drafted a questionnaire for women to fill out, as a way to share what you have to say. He will be asking some of these questions in the workshop.

The workshop is called "Approaching the Wounded Lion: Re-imagining Masculinity in the Age of #MeToo."  Any and all input is very much appreciated!

How a Late Night TV Distraction Propelled Lisa Wingate to the National Book Festival!

Courtesy of The Waco Tribune-Herald
Posted July 22, 2018

A late night television distraction when she should have been writing led to Texas author Lisa Wingate’s latest bestseller, Before We Were Yours, and, likely, an invitation to this year’s National Book Festival Sept. 1 in Washington, D.C.

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Wingate, with more than 30 books to her credit, is no stranger to book festivals and author talks, but when the National Book Festival called this spring, she jumped to accept. “I couldn’t say ‘Yeah!’ quickly enough,” she said in a recent phone interview from a working vacation in Colorado.

Wingate will be presenting in one of the festival’s larger spaces, with her remarks simulcast as part of its coverage. “That’s really exciting stuff,” she said. “This is the big one.”

And it came in part, in addition to a track record of more than 17 years writing popular fiction, because she had her television on while writing one night. On the TV was the Investigation Discovery cable series “Deadly Women,” and an image from the 1940s of a front room filled with babies caught Wingate’s eye. Keep Reading...