4th June 201512:00 pm - 3:00 pm
The George Hotel, Edinburgh
Liza Klaussmann and Sarah Winman
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Liza Klaussmann worked as a journalist for the New York Times for over a decade. She received a BA in Creative Writing from Barnard College, Columbia University and was awarded the Howard M. Teichman Prize for Prose. She lived in Paris for ten years and completed an MA in Creative Writing with distinction at Royal Holloway in London, where she now resides. She is the great-great-great granddaughter of Moby Dick’s creator Herman Melville. Her award-winning first novel Tigers in Red Weather was the subject of an eight-way auction battle, eventually selling for a seven-figure sum to Little Brown in the US. The foreign rights were sold in 18 territories. Villa America is Liza’s second novel.
‘Two things set this enjoyably creepy book apart from your average beach read. The plot and pacing are expertly managed . . . But the real selling point is the writing, which is minimalist and evocative at the same time.’
When Sara Wiborg married Gerald Murphy they decided, quite deliberately, to create a radiant world together. Their hospitality became legendary, as did their style, their parties and their appetite for the new. At Villa America, their home on the French Riviera, they welcomed the most exciting artists of the 1920s, who adored them and returned year after year. The inspiration behind F Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, they were the couple everybody wanted to know. This is their story, from secret courtship to devastating tragedy, re-imagined by Liza Klassmann in a captivating, poised and heart-breaking novel about great art, great loss and great books.
Sarah Winman grew up in Essex and now lives in London. She attended the Weber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to act in theatre, film and television. She has written two novels, When God was a Rabbit and A Year of Marvellous Ways.
‘She pefectly captures the hazy, magical nature of youth and all its mysteries, against a back-drop of real-life events.’
Marvellous Ways and is eighty-nine years old and has lived alone in a remote Cornish creek for nearly all of her life. Lately she has taken to spending her days sitting on a mooring stone by the river with a telescope. She is waiting for something – she is not sure what, but she will know it when she sees it.
Drake is a young soldier left reeling by the Second World War. When his promise to fulfil a dying man’s last wish sees him wash up in Marvellous’ creek, broken in body and spirit, the old woman comes to his aid. As an unlikely friendship grows between the two, can Drake give Marvellous what she needs to say goodbye to the world, and can she give him what he needs to go on?
A Year of Marvellous Ways is a glorious, life-affirming story about the magic in everyday life and the pull of the sea, the healing powers of story-telling and sloe gin. It tells of love, death and how we carry on when grief come snapping at our heels.
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