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Author Event: Readings from Michael Parker and Louis Bayard

May 18 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Free

“A riveting, atmospheric dream of a novel.” —Dominic Smith, author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

Set in the hardscrabble landscape of early 1900s Oklahoma, but timeless in its sensibility, Prairie Fever traces the dynamic between two sisters: the pragmatic Lorena and the chimerical Elise. Their connection to each other supersedes all else, until the arrival of a schoolteacher sunders the sisters’ relationship as they both begin to fall for him. With poetic intensity and the deadpan humor of Paulette Jiles and Charles Portis, Parker reminds us of how our choices are often driven by our passions. Expansive and intimate, Prairie Fever tells the story of characters tested as much by life on the prairie as they are by their own churning hearts.

Michael Parker is the author of six novels and three collections of stories. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times Magazine, the Oxford American, Runner’s World, Men’s Journal, and elsewhere. His work has been anthologized in The O. Henry Prize Stories and The Pushcart Prize. He is the Nicholas and Nancy Vacc Distinguished Professor in the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He lives in Saxapahaw, North Carolina, and Austin, Texas.
“In this sparkling tale of strategy and desire, Louis Bayard renders the origin story of the Lincoln-Todd marriage with a wit worthy of Jane Austen and the keen political insight of the best presidential biographers. When it comes to bringing our most revered historical figures to vivid life—and returning to them their full humanity—Louis Bayard has no peer. He is, quite simply, a master of the storytelling art.”—Liza Mundy, bestselling author of Code Girls

From the prizewinning author of Mr. Timothy and The Pale Blue Eye comes Courting Mr. Lincoln, the page-turning and surprising story of a young Abraham Lincoln and the two people who loved him best: a sparky, marriageable Mary Todd and Lincoln’s best friend, Joshua Speed.

When Mary Todd meets Abraham Lincoln in Springfield in the winter of 1840, he is on no one’s shortlist to be president. Rough and reticent, he’s a country lawyer lacking money and manners, living above a dry goods shop, but with a gift for oratory. Mary, a quick, self-possessed debutante with a tireless interest in debates and elections, at first finds him an enigma. “I can only hope,” she tells his roommate, the handsome, charming Joshua Speed, “that his waters being so very still, they also run deep.”

It’s not long, though, before she sees the Lincoln that Speed knows: a man who, despite his awkwardness, is amiable and profound, with a gentle wit to match his genius and respect for her keen political mind. But as her relationship with Lincoln deepens, she must confront his inseparable friendship with Speed, who has taught his roommate how to dance, dress, and navigate the polite society of Springfield.

Told in the alternating voices of Mary Todd and Joshua Speed, and rich with historical detail, Courting Mr. Lincoln creates a sympathetic and complex portrait of Mary unlike any that has come before; a moving portrayal of the deep and very real connection between the two men; and most of all, an evocation of the unformed man who would grow into one of the nation’s most beloved presidents.

Louis Bayard is a New York Times Notable Book author and has been shortlisted for both the Edgar and Dagger awards for his historical thrillers, which include The Pale Blue Eye and Mr. Timothy. His most recent novel was the critically acclaimed young-adult title Lucky Strikes. He lives in Washington, DC, and teaches at George Washington University.

Details

Date:
May 18
Time:
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Cost:
Free
Event Category:
Website:
https://www.facebook.com/events/836666540035944/

Organizer

McIntyre’s Books

Venue

McIntyre’s Books
2000 Fearrington Village Ctr
Pittsboro, NC 27312 United States
+ Google Map
Phone:
(919) 542-3030
Website:
www.mcintyresbooks.com

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