Wed., September 16th, 2020 • 4:00pm PT• Live • Online
In conversation with Michelle Huneven
Conversations with Authors is our free online event series produced with Extended Session. Sign up once with your email address and gain access to all future conversations as well as all video archives.
A brilliantly insightful novel, engrossing and haunting, about marriage, love, family, happiness and sorrow, from New York Times bestselling author Sue Miller.
Graham and Annie have been married for nearly thirty years. A golden couple, their seemingly effortless devotion has long been the envy of their circle of friends and acquaintances.
Graham is a bookseller, a big, gregarious man with large appetites—curious, eager to please, a lover of life, and the convivial host of frequent, lively parties at his and Annie’s comfortable house in Cambridge. Annie, more reserved and introspective, is a photographer. She is about to have her first gallery show after a six-year lull and is worried that the best years of her career may be behind her. They have two adult children; Lucas, Graham’s son with his first wife, Frieda, works in New York. Annie and Graham’s daughter, Sarah, lives in San Francisco. Though Frieda is an integral part of this far-flung, loving family, Annie feels confident in the knowledge that she is Graham’s last and greatest love.
When Graham suddenly dies—this man whose enormous presence has seemed to dominate their lives together—Annie is lost. What is the point of going on, she wonders, without him? Then, while she is still mourning him intensely, she discovers that Graham had been unfaithful to her; and she spirals into darkness, wondering if she ever truly knew the man who loved her.
Sue Miller is recognized internationally for her elegant and sharply realistic accounts of the contemporary family. Her books have been widely translated and published in 22 countries around the world. The Good Mother, the first of her ten novels, was an immediate bestseller (more than six months at the top of the New York Times charts). Subsequent novels include three Book-of-the-Month main selections: Family Pictures (a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), While I Was Gone (an Oprah’s Book Club selection), and The Senator’s Wife. Her non-fiction book, The Story of My Father, was heralded by BookPage as a “beautiful, spare memoir about her relationship with her father during his illness and death from Alzheimer’s disease.” Her numerous honors include a Guggenheim and a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship.
Sue is a committed advocate for the writer’s engagement with society at large, having held a position on the Board of PEN-American Center. For four years she was Chair of PEN New England, an active branch that worked with writing programs in local high schools and ran classes in prisons. She has taught fiction at, among others, Amherst, Tufts, Boston University, Smith, and MIT.
Michelle Huneven was born in Altadena, California. She received an M.F.A. at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. For many years her “day job” was reviewing restaurants and writing about food for the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, Gourmet and other publications. Her first novel, Round Rock, was a New York Times notable book and a finalist for the LA Times First Fiction Award. Her second novel, Jamesland, was also a New York Times notable book, a finalist for the LA Times Fiction Prize, and a winner of the Southern California Bookseller’s Award for Fiction. Her third novel, Blame, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Michelle has also received a GE Younger Writers Award and a Whiting Award for Fiction. She presently teaches creative writing at UCLA and lives with her husband, dog, cat, and African Grey parrot in the town where she was born.