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Powell's Books Presents Jill McCorkle in Conversation With Jayne Anne Phillips
Lil and Frank married young, launched into courtship when they bonded over how they both — suddenly, tragically — lost a parent when they were children. Over time, their marriage grew and strengthened, with each still wishing for so much more understanding of the parents they'd lost prematurely. Now, after many years in Boston, they've retired to North Carolina. There, Lil, determined to leave a history for their children, sifts through letters and notes and diary entries — perhaps revealing more secrets than Frank wants their children to know. Meanwhile, Frank has become obsessed with what might have been left behind at the house he lived in as a boy on the outskirts of town, where a young single mother, Shelley, is just trying to raise her son with some sense of normalcy. Frank's repeated visits to Shelley's house begin to trigger memories of her own family, memories that she'd hoped to keep buried. Because, after all, not all parents are ones you wish to remember. HIEROGLYPHICS (Algonquin) reveals the difficulty of ever really knowing the intentions and dreams and secrets of the people who raised you. In her deeply layered and masterful novel, Jill McCorkle deconstructs and reconstructs what it means to be a father or a mother, and what it means to be a child piecing together the world around us, a child learning to make sense of the hieroglyphics of history and memory. McCorkle will be joined in conversation by Jayne Anne Phillips, author of Black Tickets and Lark and Termite.

Aug 13, 2020 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Jill McCorkle
Jill McCorkle’s first two novels were released simultaneously when she was just out of college, and the New York Times called her “a born novelist.” Since then, she has published six novels and four collections of short stories, and her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories several times, as well as The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Five of her books have been New York Times Notable books, and her most recent novel, Life After Life, was a New York Times bestseller. She has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She has written for the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, and others. She was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard, where she also chaired the department of creative writing. She is currently a faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars and is affiliated with the MFA program at North Carolina State University.
Jayne Anne Phillips
Jayne Anne Phillips is the author of five novels, Quiet Dell, Lark And Termite, MotherKind, Shelter, and Machine Dreams, and two widely anthologized story collections, Fast Lanes, and Black Tickets. Lark And Termite, winner of the Heartland Prize, was a Finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Prix de Medici Etranger. MotherKind won the New England Book Award; Shelter was awarded an Academy Award by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Machine Dreams, included in the New York Times’ Best Books of the year, was a National Book Critics Award Finalist. Black Tickets was awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction. Phillips is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Bunting Fellowship, a Howard Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship. Professor Emerita at Rutgers University-Newark, she designed, founded and directed (2005-2019) the RUN-MFA program.