Summer Fiction Series

Summer Fiction

Throughout the summer, we’re highlighting new local fiction from authors around the region… Books we hope may be good reading for any lazy days on the beach, or under the shade  of a tree.  The first book in the series comes from best-selling writer Elinor Lipman – who divides her time between Northampton and New York City. As she tells New England Public Radio’s Karen Brown, she’s just published her tenth comic novel, “The View From Penthouse B.” Lipman starts by reading a section where her main character Gwen-Laura — who, like Lipman, is a recent widow — decides to start an online dating business.



Amherst writer Amity Gaige’s new book “Schroder”  follows the story of a German immigrant who, as a teen, assumes the name Eric Kennedy, to fit in with his New England peers. He keeps that identity through marriage, divorce, and a custody battle. On a visiting weekend with his daughter meadow, he flees with her on a road trip through the northeast. Gaige spoke recently with NEPR’s Henry Epp about the appeal of creating such a complicated character.

An extended version of the interview between Henry Epp and Amity Gaige:



karen shepard celestials

Williams College professor Karen Shepard’s new novel, The Celestials, starts with a small but remarkable moment in American history: when North Adams, Mass., shoe manufacturer Calvin Sampson broke a strike by the Knights of Saint Crispin, by bringing hundreds of Chinese men to work in his factory.

Marisa Labozzetta

A Somali and Kenyan immigrant named Fatma comes to the U.S. newly married and wholly unprepared for life in a new country.  Author Marisa Labozzetta based the character on someone she met while working in a women’s recovery program in Springfield.


slade - rest-stops

A fictional Springfield, Mass.,  school is the starting point for the latest book in our summer reading series. ‘Rest Stops’ opens just after the mother of 10-year-old Kianna and 13-year-old Edgar has died of a drug overdose.  With no one left in the city to care for them, they’re taken on a road trip by their gay, recovering-addict uncle whom they barely know.

Russ Rymer

In journalist Russ Rymer’s first stab at fiction, he dives into a world of diplomats and doctors, as well as heart transplants and heartbreak. Our summer fiction series continues with “Paris Twilight.”

Rymer, who was most recently a non-fiction writer-in-residence at Smith College in Northampton, puts Dr. Matilde Anselm at the center of his story. Anselm, a cardiothoracic anesthesiologist, is called to Paris for a mysterious surgical assignment.

2012′s Fiction List


Gone by Cathi Hanauer

Interviewed by Karen Brown

New England is home to a great variety of fiction authors, and every summer, we spend a week highlighting a few who have new books out in time for beach season. We begin the series today with Northampton, Massachusetts writer Cathi Hanauer. She’s perhaps best known for editing the popular essay anthology – “The Bitch in the House” – which explored the conundrums of modern motherhood and marriage. Now Hanauer uses fiction to illustrate the same dilemmas. Her third novel, ‘Gone’, centers on a middle-aged couple struggling to find out what they want for themselves and from each other. Hanauer says that the book’s title, ‘Gone,’ refers to more than the husband’s leaving.

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To visit the author’s website, click here:




Summer Breeze by Nancy Thayer

Interviewed by Susan Kaplan

Bestselling writer Nancy Thayer’s newest book, ‘Summer Breeze,’ takes place in the Pioneer Valley. Thayer, who lives on Nantucket, often locates her stories at the beach or by the water. ‘Summer Breeze’ tells the story of neighbors who live along a lake in western Massachusetts. Thayer’s first book was published decades ago when her children were babies. Thayer believes that writers will find a way to work no matter the circumstance.

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Three by Annemarie Monahan

Interviewed by Karen Brown

The book “Three” is Greenfield writer Annemarie Monahan’s first novel. The English-major turned chiropractor took six years to write the book on weekends and evenings and eventually sold it to a small publisher. ‘Three’ is the story of one woman with three possible life paths – as a member of a lesbian utopian community, a housewife who starts to question her sexuality, and a doctor who dwells on her past loves. Monahan suggests the three identities spring from the same core being.

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Mathew Lebowitz

Interviewed by Karen Brown

Mathew Lebowitz of Amherst is a published short story writer and alum of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop who has toiled over a few unpublished novels, while also running a communcations company. He recently decided to conduct a public writing experiment. Earlier this month, as a fundraiser for a New York City charity, he vowed to write an entire novel in less than two weeks. He discovered that the writing process itself became a piece of performance art.

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Love and Fatigue in America by Roger King

Interviewed by Jill Kaufman

Leverett, Massachusetts writer Roger King’s new book is called “Love and Fatigue in America”.  King came to the United States from England in the 1990s. Almost as soon as he arrived, he learned he had chronic fatigue syndrome, a little understood and often debilitating illness.  So instead of a triumphant new life in the American immigrant tradition, as he says, King found himself making a new life from the point of view of a sick person. King says ‘Love and Fatigue…’ is not actually a memoir – it’s an autobiographical novel.

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Camp by Elaine Wolf

Interviewed by Leanna First-Arai

Debut novelist Elaine Wolf of Florence, Massachusetts has been a teacher her whole life. She has worked with students ranging in age from kindergarten through adulthood. Wolf’s first novel, ‘Camp’ is a coming of age story. It follows Amy Becker – a pre-teen dealing with bullying and family secrets in the mid 1960’s. Wolf reveals that the novel centers on a protagonist who’s about as old as some of Wolf’s favorite students.

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To visit the author’s website, click here: