Book Club Nirvana!
Our middle school faculty & staff book club choice for May was The Double Bind by Vermont author Chris Bohjalian. He was gracious enough to meet with our group in Burlington tonight to talk about the book and his writing process. Life would be perfect if every time you finished reading an incredible novel, you could sit down with the author and talk with him about his research, revisions, and thoughts while writing the book. (Chris is the literary-looking guy in the middle.)
If you haven’t read The Double Bind, it’s a literary psychological thriller — the kind of book where you make prediction after prediction and smile smugly to yourself, only to fall on the floor when you find out the real deal. As soon as I finished reading, I was compelled to look back at about five different parts of the book.
It was fabulous to talk with Chris about our thoughts and connections with his novel — and even greater to hear how this amazing book came to life. Chris told us about the eight drafts and four different points of view that he worked through before putting this book to bed. It was worth every minute of revision.
We’re planning our next field trip — to hear Chris read from his current work-in-progress at the Burlington Book Festival on September 15th. (I’m reading from my middle grades historical novel Spitfire and presenting a families workshop the next day as part of the children’s strand of the festival, and I still can’t quite get over the fact that my name will be on the same program!)
On top of his gift for writing, Chris is one of the most interesting, down-to-earth, and genuine people I’ve ever met. What a terrific night. I’m convinced the world would be a happier, more peaceful place if we’d all sit around and talk about books more often.