Carrie Brown presents new novel at SBC

| October 14, 2013

Sweet Briar’s former Margaret Banister Writer-in-Residence Carrie Brown will read from her newest novel, “The Last First Day,” at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20. The reading will take place in the Sun Room Lounge in Mary Helen Cochran Library and is free and open to the public.

Released in September, “The Last First Day” has been included in Amazon’s Fall Book Review and has received much praise. Most recently, The Washington Post’s Reeve Lindbergh described it as a “quietly powerful” and “exquisitely written, multidimensional” story.

Set at a boarding school for boys near the Maine coast, the novel focuses on the deep relationship between 76-year-old headmaster Peter and his wife, Ruth, who have devoted nearly half a century to the school. Aware of Peter’s impending retirement but unsure of their future, Ruth revisits the different stages in her life, from a terrible childhood to an unexpectedly happy marriage.

“There is lucidity and depth in each observed or remembered moment of their lives, giving an overall view of a beautiful landscape seen through clear water, a scene of truth and transformation,” Lindbergh writes.

“One of the great gifts of this book is the simple, meditative quality of its narrative. Terrible things happen and have happened. … It is not always possible, Brown suggests, to understand our lives. Nonetheless, one can see with clarity and with an appreciation for certain glimpsed miracles in every day, whatever else the day brings. It is possible to live to the very end in the presence of sustaining love.”

Brown is the author of seven books. She has won many awards for her work, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, The Great Lakes Book Award and, twice, the Library of Virginia Award. Her short fiction has appeared in journals including One Story, Glimmer Train, The Georgia Review and The Oxford American. She has taught at Sweet Briar College and is now Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Hollins University.

For more information, please contact John Gregory Brown at brown@sbc.edu or (434) 381-6434.

Janika Carey

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Category: Creative Writing