Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane


The Gulf by Belle Boggs


The Silk Road by Kathryn Davis

The Road Taken: Three Novels, Three Paths

Monday June 3, 2019
07:00 pm

Tags: Event


...and enjoy $10 off any purchase at our bookstore! 

Writers are often asked when they knew their book was finished. Instead, Belle Boggs, Kathryn Davis, and Jessica Francis Kane will tackle the question of when did they know it was time to begin?


This will be a compelling and unique discussion on the very early stages of writing a novel. By reflecting on the unexpected events, thoughts and experiences that roused the first stirrings of life in their books, they'll seek to explain how or when nascent ideas for a story gradually became distinct characters, settings, chapters, and plots--and, ultimately, what made them certain their novel-writing journey had commenced.


In The Silk Road, Kathryn Davis brings the past, present, and future into brilliant coexistence with a skillful sleight of hand. Her story begins on a mat in yoga class, deep within a labyrinth on a settlement somewhere in the icy north, under the canny guidance of Jee Moon. When someone fails to arise from corpse pose, the Astronomer, the Archivist, the Botanist, the Keeper, the Topologist, the Geographer, the Iceman, and the Cook remember the paths that brought them there—paths on which they still seem to be traveling. 


With humor and empathy, The Art of Waiting author Belle Boggs plumbs the troubled waters dividing America in her debut novel, The Gulf. Marianne is in a slump: barely able to support herself teaching, not making progress on her poetry, about to lose her Brooklyn apartment. When her novelist ex-fiancé, Eric, and his venture capitalist brother, Mark, offer her a job directing a low-residency school for Christian writers at a motel they’ve inherited on Florida’s Gulf Coast, she can’t come up with a reason to say no.

Finally, in Rules for Visiting, Jessica Francis Kane asks "What might the world have had if, instead of waiting, Penelope had set out on an adventure of her own?"


Belle Boggs is the author of The Gulf, her first novel, The Art of Waiting, and Mattaponi Queen. Her essay collection, The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood was a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay and named a best book of the year by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Buzzfeed, and O mag. Mattaponi Queen won the Bakeless Prize, the Library of Virginia Literary Award and was a finalist for the 2010 Frank O’Connor Int'l Short Story Award. She's received fellowships to the National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council, and Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ conferences. She's an associate professor of creative writing at NC State University.





Jessica Francis Kane is the author of the novel Rules for Visiting. Her previous books include This Close, The Report, and Bending HeavenThis Close was longlisted for The Story Prize and the Frank O’Connor Int'l Short Story Prize. The Report was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection and a finalist for the Center for Fiction's Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize.Her stories and essays have appeared in a number of publications, including Virginia Quarterly Review, McSweeney’s, The Missouri Review, The Yale Review, A Public Space, and Granta.

Kathryn Davis has received the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is the author of many novels, including Labrador, The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf, Hell, The Walking Tour, The Thin Place, and Versailles. In 2006 she received the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis and lives in Vermont.