Friday, July 26, 2013

What is Katherine Hill reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Katherine Hill, author of The Violet Hour.

Her entry begins:
As a writer, reading is both a hobby and a job for me, and I’m sort of obsessive about both. I keep an endless and motley list of books I need to read because the writer does something interesting with language or plot or setting, or because the subject matter relates to something I’m writing, or because enough people have mentioned the book to me this week that I just absolutely have to read it right this minute. I’m also constantly trying to fill holes—the books I really should have read already, sometime before I was born.

My current read, Zadie Smith’s NW, satisfies just about every one of those higgledy piggledy categories. (It even uses the phrase “higgledy piggledy,” and gets away with it.) I’ve been a Smith fan since White Teeth. She’s like this great young athlete whose moves are so recklessly controlled that I’m always rooting for her even when she makes an error. Except she’s not exactly...[read on]
About The Violet Hour, from the publisher:
A pitch-perfect, emotionally riveting debut novel about the fracturing of a marriage and a family – from an award-winning young writer with superb storytelling instincts.

Life hasn’t always been perfect for Abe and Cassandra Green, but an afternoon on the San Francisco Bay might be as good as it gets. Abe is a rheumatologist, piloting his coveted new boat. Cassandra is a sculptor, finally gaining modest attention for her art. Their beautiful daughter, Elizabeth, is heading to Harvard in the fall. Somehow, they’ve made things work. But then, out of nowhere, they plunge into a terrible fight. Cassandra has been unfaithful. In a fit of fury, Abe throws himself off the boat.

A love story that begins with the end of a marriage, The Violet Hour follows a modern family through past and present, from the funeral home in the Washington suburbs where Cassandra and her siblings grow up to the San Francisco public health clinic where Abe and Cassandra first meet. As the Greens navigate the passage of time—the expectations of youth, the concessions of middle age, the headiness of desire, the bitterness of loss—they must come to terms with the fragility of their intimacy, the strange legacies they inherit from their parents, and the kind of people they want to be. Exquisitely written, The Violet Hour is the deeply moving story of a family suddenly ripped apart, but then just possibly reborn.
Learn more about the book and author at Katherine Hill's website and blog.

Writers Read: Katherine Hill.

--Marshal Zeringue