Summer Fiction Series

Throughout the summer of 2013, we highlighted 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 came from best-selling writer Elinor Lipman – who divides her time between Northampton and New York City. As she told New England Public Radio’s Karen Brown, she’s published her tenth comic novel, “The View From Penthouse B.” Lipman started 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.