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When I left the vagaries and (often) cruelties of corporate America behind this past May
, I wasn't only leaving something. I was stepping toward something new. We've called it Juncture Workshops
. You know what it is—an intense focus on memoir and how it might be taught in ways that radically reinvent both community and self knowledge, literature and the single sentence.
Over the past few days we've been laying the groundwork for a new Juncture element—a series of brief video interludes that introduce (in Series 1) paired memoiristic essays (unexpected pairings, pairings that delight me, pairings I've not taught before) that reveal both the inner workings of memoir and the essential eruptions of memory.
We're filming our first one tomorrow. We'll be releasing the whole as a set on a teaching platform toward summer's end. I post this now because it's exciting to me—to discover these connections, and to share them.
Each Beth Kephart book which sails onto the shelf is like polished sea glass refracting the light of truth. This is the Story of You is a poetic rendering of loss and isolation after an epic storm. Mira is asked if she is strong enough to stand on her small, destroyed island and help the community that has shaped her every heartbeat. With her mother and brother off-island, she finds her family is broader than she ever expected.
Find the work, readergirlz, and listen to Beth's love of the sea. Draw your mind in directions unexpected, and finish the last page with the sound of the ocean and one girl's resilience shoring you up in your own story of you.
This is the Story of You
by Beth Kephart
Chronicle Books, 2016
I do wish, often, that I had been born beautiful. I wish it especially at times like these, when given the extraordinary opportunity to speak with the brilliant Jim Cotter for his WHYY show, "Articulate."
Nonetheless, here I am. Grateful for all the care Jim's exceptional team took, grateful for the conversation, grateful, indeed, for the invitation. And hoping that I had something meaningful to say.
A link to the trailer is here
And show times, on Philadelphia's WHYY:
Thursday, February 25, 2015, 10:30 PM
Sunday, February 28, 2015, 1:00 PM
The glorious hours I spent in the company with Jim Cotter and his entire team have produced these minutes on film that I will always treasure.
Here are so many of the things I care about—Philadelphia, the Schuylkill, Penn, memoir, story, language—all in one place, all at one time.
I'm not beautiful, as I always say. But maybe it is enough if beautiful things live in my world. You can watch the segment, which also features literary translation and tenor Stephen Costello, here.
Or watch this evening at 10:30, WHYY TV, or on Sunday at 1 PM.
Articulate—all of you—thank you.
Gary Kramer of Temple University Press: you have opened so many doors. Thank you.
We've been so blessed by the response to our announcement regarding the launch of Juncture Workshops, our series of memoir workshops.
Recently we put together an informational brochure for those who think that the inaugural workshop—which is taking place from September 11 - September 16 on a farm in McClure, PA— might be just right for them.
Interested? Please contact us through the Juncture Workshops web site,
and we'll send a PDF your way.
By: Shelley Workinger,
Blog: But What Are They Eating?
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Love proves itself.
Ada didn’t think up this saying, but she believes it as fiercely as if she did. And the love she wants to do the proving is that of Stefan, the boy she’s loved for the 3 years since she turned 12.
Unfortunately Ada’s story doesn’t take place in 21st century in America, and the hill she wants Stefan to surmount to be with her isn’t some sort of metaphorical social obstacle. Ada and Stefan live in 1983 Germany on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall. He’s East, she’s West, and they’re separated not only by the imposing cement, but by its accompanying fences, mines, dogs, and twenty-two-centimeter-high asparagus grass as well.
Yes, I had to stop there and look that up. You’ll be interested – I know I was – to learn that asparagus grass is edible, and it is grass. No, I wasn’t initially sure of either; I thought it might be a name for some sort of weapon or obstacle, like barbed wire. Funny enough, in some of the images I found it does look a bit like barbed wire, and its shoots are organized – or rather so disorganized – that in Turkish they call asparagus grass “Kuxkonmaz” which translates to “bird can’t land,” so its usage/placement around the wall is perhaps more apropos than the Germans were even aware.
Anyway, yes, Wikipedia may have proven the existence of asparagus grass, but not Stefan’s love.*
On their scheduled permitted visits, Ada sneaks in articles describing the best escape gadgets – double-jointed ladders, invisible string, escapable coffins – but all Stefan wants to do is kiss her and take her hand and go for walks. He wants to savor every precious moment they have together by being together, while Ada wants him to devise a way to make that time endless. He’s today, while she’s always five steps into tomorrow. When you look at it that way – his short-sightedness versus her long – hers seems more like love, his like infatuation. Then again, his feelings might be the more grounded and realistic of the two when considering the concrete obstacles in their path.
Either way, you’ll be pulling for these to beat the odds, cross that wall, and trample that asparagus grass.
*Because love proves itself, remember? I know I digressed a bit, but surely you can’t have forgotten that already!
So happy to share our beloved Beth Kephart's latest book trailer for Small Damages. It will be available in July. Look at this beautiful cover!
Okay, listen in...Congratulations, Beth!
by Beth Kephart
Blog: The Children's Book Review
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Top Picks from YA Bloggers in the Know, #3
By Nicki Richesin, The Children’s Book Review
Published: July 9, 2012
It’s summer reading time. We’re fortunate to have the talented Em, Nora, and Alicia of Love YA Lit here to share their current summer reading list with us. You’ll drift away with these white hot reads.
While only Nora has summer break these days (school is officially out for summer), all three of us still have a special place in our hearts for summer reading! Whether reading at the beach while catching some rays, listening to an audiobook while gardening, or taking a tourism break on a trip by diving into a story, we are excited to have some outstanding books as companions on these hot summer days. Here are a handful of books that we’re excited to check out this summer!
By Sangu Mandanna
Eva is a copy of another girl named Amarra. She spends her time studying everything about Amarra so that she is ready to replace her if she is ever to die. And die she does. Now Eva is expected to take her fifteen years of studying, move to India, and convince the world that Amarra is alive – that this other girl is her. In addition to an interesting concept, India is the big draw here. Em spent a semester of college in Bangalore, which is where the author grew up, and is drawn to books with Indian settings, which are few and far between. We have heard very little buzz about this title – positive or negative – and are curious to check it out for ourselves.
Ages 13 and up | Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers | August 28, 2012
By Beth Kephart
Kenzie is graduating from high school. While her peers are dreaming of prom and heading to college in the fall, she finds herself with bigger concerns: the loss of her father and the baby growing in her belly who her mother and her boyfriend don’t understand her desire to keep. The silver lining? She’s sent to Spain for the summer. The downside? She’s meant to live out her pregnancy working in the kitchen on a bull ranch and then give her baby up for adoption to a Spanish couple. This book offers readers a chance to vicariously travel the world, but it might not be the vacation of our dreams. A big draw of the book is the setting, but the last thing we want to do is work on a bull farm and feel pressured about what to do with our bodies (and our babies). Hopefully there’ll be some gazpacho slurping and someone (not the pregnant teen) will get to drink some sangria.
Ages 13-17 | Publisher: Penguin Group (U
Incredibly happy as I anticipate my conversation (about books, memoir, writing, meaning) with Dani Shapiro during the upcoming First Person Arts Festival on Sunday, November 10, 4 - 5:30, at Christ's Church in Philadelphia.
The details are here
. My thoughts about Dani's wonderful new book, Still Writing
, are here
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The 20 Question Interview with our very own Turkeybird is our feature interview that happens with all of the book authors, illustrators and poets we love!
Today we are delighted to welcome a friend and long time favorite author of Turkeybird’s mom, Beth Kephart. Beth’s new book Going Over was published this past week. Much like Dangerous Neighbors, You Are My Only, Small Damages and many other of Beth’s novels Going Over was one that will not soon be forgotten. After many long hours (or possibly minutes) talking with his mom Turkeybird came up with a few questions to ask Beth that he knew he needed to know. So, without further hesitation on our part, the Turkeybird’s interview with Beth Kephart…
I LOVE these questions, Turkeybird. Also, you are such a cute guy! I’ve heard many fine things about you….. But I digress….
1. So, my mom tried to explain why someone would put a big wall in the middle of a big country, but why do you think they did it? Sounds pretty weird to me!
Sadly, there are still many walls in the world today. Walls between Palestine and Israel, between Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and between our own country and Mexico, among other places. Often walls are built to keep people or perceived dangers out. In Berlin, the wall was built in 1961 to keep the people in. The East Germans had begun flocking to the West—unhappy with the conditions where they lived and in search of better opportunities. The East German government needed those people to stay put—who would do the work if they were gone?—and so the Wall (devastatingly) went up.
2. How do you talk to someone when there’s a big wall in the way?
Well, often, you don’t. You can’t. You are cut off from communication. But people are ingenious, and many found a way. Westerners could visit the East, with certain passes. And sometimes the Easterners could get a pass to visit the West. But most of the time, between many people, sometimes even between husbands and wives or siblings or best friends, there was silence. It was terrible.
3. If you were seven what would you read next?
Where the Wild Things Are.
4. How about if you were four, what would you read next? (Littlebug likes to read a lot too. I’ve gotta get books for her.)
Flora and the Flamingo. Which doesn’t even have any words, but it has the best message.
(Turkeybird: AH! That is one of her most favorite books ever…see the picture and you’ll know what I’m talking about.)
5. Swings or Slides?
I’d have to say Slides.
Because when I was nine years old I shattered my arm in a fall from a swing. I still have the scars and weak arm to prove it!
7. Math or English class? (I can’t decide right now, I like both!)
Don’t decide! Like both!
8. Do you have a favorite treat? (Mine is anything chocolate!)
I’m right with you, buddy.
9. Crayons or Markers?
Because then I can write the next Famous Crayon Book.
11. What’s your favorite color?
It used to be blue-green. Now it might be orange.
12. I heard you like to make pots and things out of clay. (That sounds neat!) What was your favorite pot that you’ve made?
Oh. I can send you a photograph. I made it for my editor at Chronicle Books, Tamra Tuller. I will attach a picture.
13. When you were my age did you like to draw and read?
I liked Spirographs! And doll fashion.
14. Why do you like to write?
Boy, well. Do you have all day? Or are you busy eating chocolate while drawing with crayons?
15. My mom said you write lots of books about things that happened a long time ago, she called it history. What’s your favorite time that’s already happened?
Your mother is a smart cookie. I like her. Tell her that. I’m a big fan of late 19th century stuff. But I really loved going back to 1983 Berlin.
16. I love Legos and building things! Do you like Legos or something else fun?
Does ballroom dance count?
Because I can do it with the music on.
18. Lakes or the ocean? We live next to the ocean and it is so neat!
OCEAN!! (Lucky guy, you.)
19. What’s your favorite thing to do outside? (Mine is exploring!)
20. What are you writing right now?
Answers to your questions.
The Turkeybird Speaks: Wow Beth, I can’t believe how crazy that there are still places in the world like you talked about. I asked my mom if there are any books I could read on my own about Mexico, Israel and Germany. We are going to go to the bookstore and the library to find some. I really want to learn lots and lots more!
The dancing sounds like lots and lots of fun too, but not the broken arm. I think I will stay away from swings (I didn’t like them before very much) and dance a lot more. Except my dancing is kind of really crazy!
Thank you super a lot Beth! Your answers were so so good and when I get older I really want to read all of your books, just because they sound so neat!
Find Going Over by Beth Kephart at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads | ISBN10/ISBN13: 1452124574 / 9781452124575
CCSS-Aligned Discussion/Teacher’s Guide (Opens to pdf)
Going Over Radio Playlist!
Thanks to the generous folks at Chronicle books we are delighted to be able to giveaway one signed copy of Going Over plus an audiobook to one lucky There’s A Book reader!
Be sure to enter using the rafflecopter form below and be aware that this one is for US/Canadian residents only.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Chronicle Books, for providing a copy of this book for review! Connect with them on Twitter, on Facebook and on Pinterest!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our various affiliate relationships.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Original article: Author Interview and Giveaway: 20 Questions with Beth Kephart
©2014 There's A Book. All Rights Reserved.
As reported in PW Children's Bookshelf,
April 28, 2014:
Tamra Tuller at Chronicle has acquired two books by NBA-nominated author Beth Kephart. Set in Florence, Italy, One Thing Stolen follows Nadia Cara as she mysteriously begins to change. She's become a thief, she has secrets she can't tell, and when she tries to speak, the words seem far away.This Is the Story of You takes place in an island beach town in the aftermath of a super storm; Mira, a year-rounder stranded for weeks without power, hopes to return storm-tossed treasures to their rightful owners, and restore some sense of order to an unrecognizable world. Publication is scheduled for spring 2015 and spring 2016; Amy Rennert of the Amy Rennert Agency did the deal for world rights.
Thank you, Chronicle Books and Beth Kephart, for preparing to release another of Beth's beautiful novels into the world!
The book itself is a nest of treasure with rich imagery, lyrical language, metaphor, and winged flights through the city of Florence. Nadia is trapped in theft, a loss of words, and a loss of reality while she repeatedly loses consciousness during her family's relocation in Italy. And there is a boy, a boy whose hair glows, who leads her through the streets of Santa Croce, and there is a best girlfriend, who will give all to find him again for Nadia, never losing hope for her.
Keep this one in mind, readergirlz. You'll have a wait for its release. But isn't Beth always worth it?
One Thing Stolen
by Beth Kephart
Chronicle Books, April 7, 2015
A CONVERSATION WITH DANIEL MENAKER (TUE, 2/24 AT NOON)
We hope you’ll join us next Tuesday, February 24th, for a noontime
conversation with DANIEL MENAKER. Over the course of his career, Daniel
has been the fiction editor of THE NEW YORKER and Executive
Editor-in-Chief at Random House. Now he works with Stonybrook
Southhampton’s MFA program and consults for Barnes & Noble—so rest
assured, this is a man who knows his books. The conversation will be
moderated by BETH KEPHART. RSVP now to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us
at 215-476-POEM. We’d love to see you here, next Tuesday.
All the best,
The Kelly Writers House
The Sylvia Kauders Lunch Series presents:
A CONVERSATION WITH DANIEL MENAKER
Hosted by BETH KEPHART
Tuesday, Feb. 24th | 12:00pm | Arts Café
Kelly Writers House | 3805 Locust Walk
No registration required - this event is free & open to the public
DANIEL MENAKER is a fiction writer and editor, currently working with
the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton and as a consultant for
Barnes & Noble Bookstores. Daniel was a fiction editor at THE NEW YORKER
for twenty years and had material published in the magazine frequently.
In 1995 he was hired by Random House as Senior Literary Editor and later
became Executive Editor-in-Chief.
We are so thrilled to welcome National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart to the blog today. She's here to help us remember and appreciate where the inspiration and meaning of our stories comes from. Be sure to check out her newest release, One Thing Stolen, at the end.
Living to Write, A Craft of Writing Post by Beth Kephart
Sometimes life gets in the way of the stories we are telling. There’s no more pushing off the lab that’s due at school. Our little brothers have smashed our locks and are standing there, demanding. Our grandmothers aren’t well and they haven’t precisely asked, but could we forgive ourselves if we put our tremulous fiction way out ahead of a real live person’s struggling?
We look up. We power off. We put the research aside. The night settles down on the worlds in our heads. The bump and glare of the stuff some call “real” take essential precedence.
Maybe it seems, after awhile, that our untold, in-suspense stories have been diminished by the compromising passage of time, but after writing more than twenty books during an adulthood of jarring schedules and non-negotiable responsibility, I’ve decided this: The time we spend away from our stories is as potent as the time that we spend with them.
For example: It took me ten years and some eighty drafts to get a book I called Small Damages
right. I’d have given up—I promise you—if I’d written those eighty drafts inside an uninterrupted swoon. Indeed, I needed to live more than I had lived to write that novel complete. I had to make friends I didn’t have when I’d begun the project. Travel where I’d not yet gone. Find postcards stuck inside old books found by accident in a barn. I could write Small Damages
complete and whole only after and because I allowed the “real” to slip in. Because I paid attention to it.
And then there’s One Thing Stolen
, a book I was sure I could never finally write. A book that was interrupted again and again by client demands, student projects, an ongoing conversation that was headed nowhere. I just need time to write
, I’d hear myself complain, but when I did get time alone with the page, it was clear that I wasn’t ready yet. That not until I was bruised in a certain real-life way by a certain real-life thing could I find my way into the mindset of a major character. It wasn’t until I took a spontaneous walk that I heard and saw a bird that I needed to hear then see. It wasn’t until I was away from the page that I’d lived enough and seen enough to write the page that mattered.
Sure, we think a writer’s life is full of sweetly silence. Sure, we say we need a room, we need respect, we need the hours. Trust me, I want those things, too, but trust me, too: I do some of my best writing work when I’m not being a writer. I’m living and what difference will any book make if its author has not lived enough?
We have to hurt, see, feel, know, love to write. We have to want and be denied. We have to hope and be dashed. We have to ask and finally be answered. We have to be kind. We have to be human. We have to know what those things are.
Don’t regret the time you’re not writing.
Just make sure you live that time well.
About the Book:
Something is not right with Nadia Cara. She’s become a thief. She has secrets she can’t tell. And when she tries to speak, the words seem far away. In Florence, Italy, with her epicurean brother, professor father, and mother who helps at-risk teens, Nadia finds herself trapped by her own obsessions and following the trail of an elusive Italian boy whom no one but herself has seen. While her father researches a flood that nearly destroyed Florence in 1966, Nadia wonders if she herself can be rescued—or will she disappear?
Set against the backdrop of a glimmering city, One Thing Stolen
is an exploration of obsession, art, and a rare neurological disorder. It is about language and beauty, imagining and knowing, and the deep salvation of love.Amazon
About the Author:
Beth Kephart is the author of 20 books of nonfiction, fiction, and fable. Her latest, One Thing Stolen
, received multiple starred reviews. Love: A Philadelphia Affair
, a collection of essays, is due out in September from Temple University Press. Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir
won the 2013 Books for a Better Life Award (Motivational Category). Going Over,
a novel of Berlin, was named a 2014 Booklist Top Ten Historical Fiction for Youth. Kephart is a National Book Award finalist and a winner of the Speakeasy Poetry Prize as well as grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Leeway Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Pennsylvania. More here: www.beth-kephart.blogspot.com
-- posted by Susan Sipal, @HP4Writers
"Georgia knows what it means to keep secrets. She knows how to ignore things. She knows that some things are better left unsaid. . . . Or are they?
When Georgia and her best friend, Riley, travel along with nine other suburban Pennsylvania kids to Anapra, a squatters' village in the heat-flattened border city of Juarez, Mexico, secrets seem to percolate and threaten both a friendship and a life. Certainties unravel. Reality changes. And Georgia is left to figure out who she is outside the world she's always known."
What a little gem! Author Beth Kephart is talented at really creating a picture for her reader, both of setting and characters, and evoking emotions into every sentence in her books. This one is certainly no exception and you'll find yourself feeling the hot Juarez sun (and boy is it hot...used to live not too far from there) and living the tension between Georgia and Riley.
These characters are both complex in their own ways, making you want to know more about them and sympathizing with the heartaches they're each going through. And in the midst of the relationship drama, there is this trip to Juarez. Filled with hope and determination to make something better for the impoverished city and the families living there. Both aspects of the story are perfectly intertwined and beautifully done.
And for once I can applaud an author for knowing when to end her novel! One of my biggest pet peeves among YA and Middle Grade authors today are the lengthy books they write and the feeling that they shoved a whole bunch of extra stuff into a book to make it 500 pages long, rather than keeping a great story 200 pages. Beth Kephart knew when to stop and the result is a wonderful little book I would happily hand to any teen.
Overall rating: 4 out of 5
The Heart is Not a Size
Review copy received from publisher
To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon. I am an Associate and will receive a small percentage of the purchase price. Thanks!
Perhaps you've been waiting anxiously for this day because a gorgeous, brilliant, and much-anticipated book is hitting the shelves at this very moment. That day has arrived!
Today, Beth Kephart's latest exquisite novel, DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS, is born! So if you happen to be at the bookstore for any other reason, please pick it up and savor it like the rarest and finest of chocolates.
I'm thrilled and proud to welcome Beth to a special edition of Story Secrets to spill some of her DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS secrets - and she has generously offered to give away one book (see entry info below)!
DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS is the story of twin sisters set against the backdrop of 1876 Philadelphia, the Centennial year. When the novel opens, Katherine has lost her sister, Anna, to an untimely death and, feeling responsible, is unwilling to live on. She chooses a hot Saturday in early September to make her way to the Centennial grounds, where all the noise and commotion of the international exhibition does nothing to permeate her sadness. Chased by Anna’s former lover and contemplating suicide, Katherine is saved, at the exhibition, by an unlikely turn of events and by a boy, an animal whisperer of sorts, far outside her social class. The present day story is leavened by numerous flashbacks, where we meet Anna herself, and her lover.
Holly Cupala: Such a fascinating premise, Beth! Both sisters and a beloved city. Can you tell us about how the idea began?
Beth Kephart: I had been working on a book (an unusual “autobiography”) about a Philadelphia river—a book called FLOW: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF PHILADELPHIA’S SCHUYLKILL RIVER— and I kept encountering images and stories of old Philadelphia that led me in this direction. I love my city, and I always return to it in my imagination.
Read the rest of Beth's secrets and enter to win a copy of DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS here!
The rgz Street Team is a group of teens who bring YA reviews to our blog, led by Postergirl Miss Erin. Find out more.
Today, Priya reviews Dangerous Neighbors by one of our esteemed authors in residence, Beth Kephart!
"Katherine and Anna are two peas in a pod, two sisters that are so close together than only death can really tear them apart. After Anna's tragic death, Katherine is so filled with sorrow, anger, and guilt that her desire to live fades away; it takes a series of surprises and near-disasters for Katherine to find her way. As we ride through Katherine's memories and current life, the story of her and Anna is slowly unraveled, until the thing that we've all been dying (pardon the pun) to know about is finally revealed.
Dangerous Neighbors is a quietly powerful and poignant novel that kept me enthralled the whole time. It's a lot shorter than I expected it to be - only 166 pages - but I feel that its brevity only enriched the story. Once again, the main thing that stands out in this novel - and all of Beth Kephart's novels - is the writing. All of the words were so deliberately picked, the descriptions were like poetry, and awkward phrases were nonexistent. Kephart can put things into words that the rest of us cannot, and in such a beautiful and touching way as well..."
Read the rest of this review on Priya's blog
. (And read the story behind that gorgeous cover here
Congrats to Tessa and Liesl, winners of May's 2k11/Elevensie swag packs!
With a historical middle-grade coming out next year and research on a new book underway, I've been thinking a lot about historical fiction. There are particular challenges and limitations that come with telling a story in a time before our own.
Here's what Beth Kephart has to say about the genre:
In time, I would write my own history-indebted books. I would come to an earned understanding of how difficult it is to both honor the past and make it relevant and pressing for modern readers. One has to make decisions about authenticity, completeness, recorded truth, the shaping of language, the admission of now to then. One has to yield to the novelist's first obligation, which is to craft a moving, timeless story.
And Margaret Lawrence says this:
...Making a novel based on history requires us to leap beyond fact.
Working Writers had this to say about Margaret George's latest book, ELIZABETH I:
And that is perhaps what is so great about this book, is that you get the true sense of Elizabeth as a person. She isn’t a character from history or an un-relatable, larger than life, individual. She’s human.
What particular challenges do you see in creating historical fiction?
There's an amazing author I met last year, not with a formal introduction, but through a book review. That book was like a nourishing meal, meaty and savory and lovely. Now she's read May B., and I am deeply honored by what she had to say about my girl.
Thank you, Beth Kephart, for everything.
Author Beth Kephart has created a unique treasure hunt related to her newest novel, You Are My Only. She will be posting a series of Story Behind the Story posts at various blogs, and readers who track them down have the opportunity to win a signed copy of Kephart's book You Are My Only AND a critique of the first 2,000 words of a work-in-progress.
Learn more at Beth's blog.
Can we take a moment to thank Egmont for publishing another Beth Kephart exquisite novel? Thank you, Egmont!
You Are My Only will be released October 25th, and I encourage you then to find Beth's newest book. In this realistic fiction novel, you'll breath despair along with several suppressed characters. You'll turn pages and yearn for them each to find hope. One story tells of a young mother's loss of her baby, while the second winds a tale of a teen sequestered from society. How the works intertwine is brilliant. From beginning to end, images and movements echo and resonate back and forth between the stories. At the reveal, I actually stopped reading, stunned by the moment of truth.
As always, I was mesmerized by Beth's rich writing. Even in the smallest detail:
"There is a bird making a tree branch heavy, her gray belly bottom like the high back of the sun."
"Outside the wind sneaks up under the loose skirt of the roof tiles..."
Nesting in the story are sweet truths of life that you can grapple with and then possibly hold.
"Tragedy and blessing," Miss Cloris says. "Sometimes they're the same one thing."
"What do you suppose any of us, Sophie, wish to be remembered for? For the things that tried to stop us or the ways we carried on?"
I'm still thinking over the latter. I'm challenged to find the truth that I would ultimately hold.
You Are My Only is current, relevant, and gracefully written with gripping realism. There is no shrinking back. Thank you, Beth, for staying truly dedicated to the fine art of writing.
You Are My Only
by Beth Kephart
So happy to share our former rgz Author in Residence Beth Kephart's
new trailer for her next novel. My review for You Are My Only
. Don't miss this book when it releases at the end of the month. Don't-miss-it.
View Next 10 Posts
Beth Kephart has shared many Cover Stories in this space--for Undercover and House of Dance, for Nothing But Ghosts and for The Heart is Not a Size. Her latest novel is high in my pile, and it should be in yours too! I dare you to read a Beth Kephart book and not sigh at the beauty of her words. She's truly a poet (check out her blog for proof).
Here's Beth talking about the cover of her new novel, You Are My Only:
"For many months I have wondered just how I would write this cover story. In some ways, I still don’t know quite what to say.
"Should I start with the title, You Are My Only, which sets the mood? And if I start with the title, then aren’t I really starting (or shouldn’t I start) by thanking my agent, Amy Rennert, and her colleague, Robyn Russell, who helped me toward knowing what the title must be during a week of grave uncertainty?
"You Are My Only, then—a title that I was helped toward. Words that struck me once, and strike me again today, as singular and brave.
"To create the image, we turned, of course, to Neil Swaab, who had designed the gorgeous cover for Dangerous Neighbors [read that Cover Story on bn.com], and who seems to get books the moment he reads them—seems to settle on that symbol or scene that obsessed the writer or, in this case, kept the writer going. Both of my protagonists—Sophie and Emmy—are caught inside worlds, trapped in places they should not be. Both look out through windows on people and places just out of reach. What might symbolize that? What single image might tell the story of two young women separated by time and place and hurt?"
Read the rest of Beth's Cover Story at melissacwalker.com.