John Burnham Schwartz is one of my favorite authors–he wrote THE COMMONER, a fictionalized history of the Japanese Royal family. He has a new book out I’m dying to read: NORTHWEST CORNER, which follows up on the lives of the characters from his hit novel/movie RESERVATION ROAD. John is not only an incredible writer, but a classy, classy act. I asked him to blurb my novel, THIS BURNS MY HEART, and, in a moment of temporary insanity all too common to myself, I addressed him by the wrong name, as “Jonathan.” And then, on top of that, I failed to send him an ARC of my novel. Now, I think most writers would’ve been a bit annoyed after this succession of gaffes, and at the very least, chosen not to give their hard-earned attention to my novel. (And by the way, not to delve too far in my personal psychology, but can you say self-sabotage much?) Much to my surprise, within only a week or so, John sent me the loveliest, nicest blurb. Now THAT’s class.
Anyway, here’s some information about his book, which coincidentally comes out the same week as mine. His book is already a hit on pre-orders, and garnering incredible blurbs. I’m predicting a front cover review on the NYT Times Sunday Book Review, and best seller sales. Click to buy NORTHWEST CORNER here
From the publisher:
The New York Times Book Review called Reservation Road “a triumph,” and the novel was universally acclaimed. Now, in a brilliant literary performance by one of our most compelling and compassionate writers, John Burnham Schwartz reintroduces us to Reservation Road’s unforgettable characters in a superb new work of fiction that stands magnificently on its own. Northwest Corner is a riveting story about the complex, fierce, ultimately inspiring resilience of families in the face of life’s most difficult and unexpected challenges.
Twelve years after a tragic accident and a cover-up that led to prison time, Dwight Arno, now fifty, is a man who has started over without exactly moving on. Living alone in California, haunted yet keeping his head down, Dwight manages a sporting goods store and dates a woman to whom he hasn’t revealed the truth about his past. Then an unexpected arrival throws his carefully neutralized life into turmoil and exposes all that he’s hidden.
Sam, Dwight’s estranged college-age son, has shown up without warning, fleeing a devastating incident in his own life. In its way, Sam’s sense of guilt is as crushing as his father’s. As the two men are forced to confront their similar natures and their half-buried hopes for connection, they must also search for redemption and love. In turn, they dramatically transform the lives of the women around them: the ex-wives, mothers, and lovers they have turned to in their desperate attempts to somehow rewrite, outrun, or eradicate the past.
Told in the resonant voices of everyday people gripped in the emotional riptide of lived life, Northwest Corner is at once tough and heart-lifting, an urgent, powerful story about family bonds that can never be broken and the wayward roads that lead us back to those we love.
“I was enthralled by Northwest Corner, reluctant to tear myself away even for a moment from a tale so delicately assembled, so well paced. For me, Schwartz evokes Steinbeck and Updike in his magical ability to weave, out of a regional story of family, a broader chronicle of America. I had the sense on every page of a writer whose abilities are at their peak, the parts of this tale interlocking just so, and yet being anything but predictable as Schwartz defines the nature of atonement, the many shades of love, and the face of redemption.”—Abraham Verghese
“Families may exist just to witness one another’s disappointments, and the tribes in John Burnham Schwartz’s riveting, poetic new novel have plenty to gawk and wonder at. This is the first set of characters I’ve come across in years to compel attention not just with outside action, of which there’s plenty, but with psychological depths that reward study. It’s rife with tragedies and redemptions, a wise book without being wise-assed, and you should read it.”—Mary Karr
“The masterly Northwest Corner is that finest of things—a moral novel about mortal events.”—Dennis Lehane
“Stark and deeply effecting . . . readers will grow to care deeply about whether and how [the characters’] lives can be redeemed.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[Schwartz is] exceptional at describing the chemistry of desire, creating emotional tension, and making his characters feel more like flesh and blood than fictional constructs. Imaginative and taut, Schwartz’s writing is seamless and infinitely inspired.”—Publishers Weekly