Brown’s ‘The Rope Walk’ makes Chicago Tribune’s ‘Favorite Books’ list

On Dec. 15, Carrie Brown’s latest novel, “The Rope Walk,” made the Chicago Tribune’s “Our Favorite Books of 2007” list.

Brown is Sweet Briar College’s Margaret Banister Writer-in-Residence and a member of the English faculty. “The Rope Walk,” her fifth novel, was published by Pantheon Books in May 2007.

Set against a backdrop of AIDS, 9-11, hurricanes, tsunamis and war, “The Rope Walk” is the story of 10-year-old Alice, the motherless daughter of a Shakespeare professor, and her friend Theo, a mixed-race boy who is living with his grandparents.

“I started writing the novel as a way of imagining childhood in the presence of all these terrible things,” Brown said last spring. “I wanted to have that be in the background of the story and then put these children in the presence of this shadow and see what happened.”

In addition to “The Rope Walk,” Brown is author of “Rose’s Garden,” “Lamb in Love,” “The Hatbox Baby” and “Confinement,” winner of the Library of Virginia Book Award. She also penned “The House of Belle Isle,” a collection of short stories.