Thursday, March 05, 2015

What is Cynthia Swanson reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Cynthia Swanson, author of The Bookseller: A Novel.

Her entry begins:
I recently read - for the first time - Plainsong by Kent Haruf. As a Coloradan, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit it’s taken me this long to read Plainsong; since its publication in 1999, it’s been an institution here on the High Plains. Haruf’s passing a few months ago, and an adaptation at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts of Benediction (the final book in Haruf’s trilogy that began with Plainsong), have brought a renewed interest in his work.

And that resurgence is well-deserved. Plainsong tells the story of residents of a fictional town - Holt, Colorado. The novel revolves around the aging, never-married McPheron brothers, who open their cattle ranch home - and their hearts - to a pregnant teen who has nowhere else to go. Other characters' tales unfold and wind into the story of how a family is formed - not by blood relation but by...[read on]
About The Bookseller, from the publisher:
A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.

Nothing is as permanent as it appears...

Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.

Then the dreams begin.

Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It’s everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps.

Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?

As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?
Visit Cynthia Swanson's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Bookseller.

Writers Read: Cynthia Swanson.

--Marshal Zeringue