Abbigail N. Rosewood’s diasporic ghost story comes to Houston

May 28, 2019, by

Time flies when you’re having fun, and in the blink of an eye, it has been a month and a half since I started my role as Marketing Associate at Inprint. For about two years prior, I was the Events Manager at Brazos Bookstore. Sadly, I’m around fewer physical books, but luckily, I’ve found this amazing job where I can use reading and writing as vehicles for supporting the literary arts in Houston. Also, I can finally also go to events and enjoy them!

Abbigail N. Rosewood was born in Vietnam, where she lived until the age of twelve. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. An excerpt from If I Had Two Lives won first place in the Writers Workshop of Asheville Literary Fiction Contest. The novel follows a young woman from her childhood in Vietnam to her life as an immigrant in the United States and her return to her homeland. I loved the book so I’m ecstatic that she will be in Houston presenting If I Had Two Lives on Thursday, May 30 from 7 – 8 pm at Blue Willow Bookshop.

If I Had Two Lives is a luminous debut novel which follows a young woman from her childhood in Vietnam to her life as an immigrant in the United States and her return to her homeland. Part historical fiction and ghost story, where the ghosts take on several forms such as history, memory, and trauma. She will be presenting the book on Thursday, May 30 from 7 – 8 pm at Blue Willow Bookshop.

In this interview, I asked Abbigail about her book, her craft, and how the process of completing and publishing it changed her.

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Author Sehba Sarwar talks about the new edition of her novel Black Wings

May 4, 2019, by

When you work at a place like Inprint and are surrounded by talented writers, you are lucky to have many friends that have their books published. There is something extra special to me about reading a book written by a friend. Not only are you proud of her or his accomplishment, but you can’t wait to dig in and read the story they have created. For me, reading Sehba Sarwar’s novel Black Wings, on the one hand, felt like spending the evenings with an old friend, a friend I miss dearly who use to live in Houston, a friend I have laughed with, partied with, and shared many important life conversations with. The beauty of a good writer however, is their ability to take you into another world, a world you absorb yourself into, a world that stands on its own, whether or not you know the writer. Black Wings excels at this and so much more.

Many Houstonians know Sehba Sarwar as the founding director of Voices Breaking Boundaries. As a writer and artist, she creates essays, stories, poems, and art that tackle displacement, migration, and women’s issues. Her writings have appeared in publications including New York Times Sunday Magazine, Asia: Magazine of Asian Literature, Callaloo and elsewhere while her short stories have appeared in or are forthcoming in anthologies with Feminist Press, Akashic Books, and Harper Collins India. Born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, Sarwar is currently based in Southern California. Her novel Black Wings was originally published in Pakistan. She will be reading from a second edition of the novel, published in the United States for the first time by Veliz Books this Monday, May 6, 7 pm at Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet. Free and open to the public, click here for more information about the reading to order a copy of Black Wings.

She will be reading from a second edition of the novel, published in the United States for the first time by Veliz Books this Monday, May 6, 7 pm at Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet.

The novel is set during post-9/11 times in Houston, Texas and Karachi, Pakistan. The story is revealed through the voices of mother and daughter Yasmeen and Laila. After a family tragedy, followed by many years of separation, Yasmeen and Laila confront family secrets, broken relationships, and a sense of alienation from their immediate and global environments. I caught up with Sehba before her Brazos Bookstore reading to ask her a few questions about the novel, how it has been changed in this latest edition, and about coming back to Houston. Continue reading

Dispatch 16: Chris Cander and The Weight of a Piano make a final tour stop in Chicago

March 21, 2019, by

Houston author Chris Cander’s “Dispatches from Book Tour,” a multi-week blog series of reflections and updates along her 17-city U.S. book tour for her new novel The Weight of a Piano (published by Knopf), comes to a close with Dispatch 16, from Chicago.

Friday, March 15, 2019

I blew into the windy city for the final official stop on my book tour. Before my event, I asked my Uber driver to take me to the Brewster Apartments, which was the building I fictionalized in my novel 11 Stories. I took along the miniature piano I photographed in Death Valley while I was writing The Weight of a Piano, and held it up right about where my protagonist Roscoe fell from the roof of the building in the novel. (Roscoe, meet Mini #Blüthner; Mini Blüthner, meet Roscoe.)  Continue reading

Dispatch 15: Chris Cander and The Weight of a Piano go to LA!

March 18, 2019, by

Houston author Chris Cander’s “Dispatches from Book Tour,” a multi-week blog series of reflections and updates along her 17-city U.S. book tour for her new novel The Weight of a Piano (published by Knopf), continues with Dispatch 15, from Los Angeles, California.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

From blizzard to beach: after an early flight to L.A. and before my interview with the legendary Michael Silverblatt for his Bookworm podcast, I put my feet in the sand and watched the blue-green Atlantic Ocean waves roll in on the beach where, in The Weight of a Piano, Clara’s parents took her as a child during happier times. Continue reading

Dispatch 14: Chris Cander and The Weight of a Piano go to Stillwater, MN

March 8, 2019, by

Houston author Chris Cander’s “Dispatches from Book Tour,” a multi-week blog series of reflections and updates along her 17-city U.S. book tour for her new novel The Weight of a Piano (published by Knopf), continues with Dispatch 14, from Stillwater, Minnesota.

February 21, 2019

Pamela Klinger-Horn is an angel among booksellers. She founded and has, for years, run something called Literature Lovers’ Night Out™, a ticketed event that draws usually a hundred readers to hear 3-4 writers talk about their latest novels. She was a big fan of my last novel, Whisper Hollow, and offered early endorsement of The Weight of a Piano, and I was so delighted that she invited me to be part of her literary tradition. Continue reading

Dispatch 13: Chris Cander and The Weight of a Piano have a day off in Minnesota

March 1, 2019, by

Houston author Chris Cander’s “Dispatches from Book Tour,” a multi-week blog series of reflections and updates along her 17-city U.S. book tour for her new novel The Weight of a Piano (published by Knopf), continues with Dispatch 13, from Excelsior Bay, Minnesota.

February 20, 2019 

Due to the 9” of snow that fell today, tonight’s event–Literature Lovers’ Night Out™ in Excelsior Bay, MN–was canceled. So while everyone else bundled up and hunkered down, I shed my outerwear (see previous post re: my actually being a polar bear) and went for a walk in the blizzard. Afterward, I got to spend a few hours in the company of one of my very best friends for more than twenty years, the author Charlie Baxter. We got to toast to the completion of his newest novel and to the publication of mine, and to catch up on the many things we love to talk about.  Continue reading

Dispatch 12: Chris Cander and The Weight of a Piano go to Minneapolis

February 28, 2019, by

Houston author Chris Cander’s “Dispatches from Book Tour,” a multi-week blog series of reflections and updates along her 17-city U.S. book tour for her new novel The Weight of a Piano (published by Knopf), continues with Dispatch 12, from Minneapolis.

February 19, 2019 (Dispatch 12)

It was 0oF in Minneapolis when I boarded my flight from Houston this morning. Fortunately, I have the constitution of a polar bear, so was delighted. My sister-friend Ellory, whom I met 14 years ago when my husband was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN to receive a kidney transplant, picked me up from the airport, and we got to spend some time together before tonight’s event. Continue reading

Dispatch 11: Chris Cander and The Weight of A Piano come back home

February 22, 2019, by

Houston author Chris Cander’s “Dispatches from Book Tour,” a multi-week blog series of reflections and updates along her 17-city U.S. book tour for her new novel The Weight of a Piano (published by Knopf), continues with Dispatch 11, back in Houston.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

As much as I’ve enjoyed being on the road, it’s been great being back home the past few days. And while my family is proud of me and supportive of my work, they also like it when I return to my usual post in the kitchen. And laundry room. And driver’s seat… Continue reading

Dispatch 10: Chris Cander and The Weight of a Piano go to New York City

February 15, 2019, by

Houston author Chris Cander’s “Dispatches from Book Tour,” a multi-week blog series of reflections and updates along her 17-city U.S. book tour for her new novel The Weight of a Piano (published by Knopf), continues with Dispatch 10 from New York City.

February 7, 2019

Not only because I dedicated the book to her, but because I love being with my daughter, Sasha, I invited her to join me in NYC for my event at the gorgeous McNally-Jackson Books. She originally said she couldn’t miss school that week, but on Monday, she called and said her schedule was light and she really wanted to be there. So on Wednesday, she flew up from Houston—by herself, clever girl!—and was able to be with us last night for a truly memorable event. Continue reading

Dispatch 9: Chris Cander and The Weight of a Piano make it to Springfield, Mass

February 13, 2019, by

Houston author Chris Cander’s “Dispatches from Book Tour,” a multi-week blog series of reflections and updates along her 17-city U.S. book tour for her new novel The Weight of a Piano (published by Knopf), continues with Dispatch 9 from Springfield, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

I caught the train from Penn Station to Springfield, Mass for a relaxing, 3-hour ride. About the time we were to arrive, the train stopped. Nobody said anything, nobody moved. I assumed we were letting a southbound train pass, as we had a while earlier. My friend was at the station waiting for me, and sent a text asking if we were late. Finally, just as the train started moving again, I asked the conductor what was happening, and he said, “Springfield was twenty minutes ago! Why didn’t you get off?” Continue reading