Monday, August 22, 2011

Countdown to Southern Festival of Books 2011: 8 Weeks -- Spotlight on Author Chris Bohjalian

Deciding on a topic for this week's SFB post was a no-brainer. On Friday, I got some amazing news via Twitter:

I won! For the second year in a row, I managed to snag one of the SFB Twitter contest prizes. This year, as you can see from the image above, I won by guessing author Chris Bohjalian. All week, @SoFestofBooks posted clues about the author.

First, a very general clue for Monday:
Bohjalian has long written for newspapers and magazines, which eventually evolved into a career as a novelist. According to his website, he and his wife moved to Vermont from New York City after a cab-napping (their cabbie decided to go on a joyride with them in tow) and subsequently getting caught in the cross-fire of a crack house raid. Once safely ensconced in a rural small town, Bohjalian "began chronicling life in [Lincoln, Vermont] in a wide variety of non-fiction magazine essays and in his weekly newspaper column."

Bohjalian has written a weekly column for the Burlington Free Press for more than fifteen years. You can read "Idyll Banter" on the newspaper's website. Many of the essays were published in a book of the same name.

Clue number two came on Tuesday:
Although you might initially think of Bohjalian's most famous novel Midwives, he actually had a previous novel that was made into a movie first. Past the Bleachers was indeed made into a Sandlot-like movie. I found the trailer on MacGyver is in it!

Wednesday's clue was the kicker for me:
I knew that Bohjalian's Midwives was an Oprah's Book Club pick in 1998. If you've never read it, you really must. The novel was also made into a television movie, this time on Lifetime. Sissy Spacek starred in the film, a role for which she won both a Satellite and a SAG award. I guessed the answer, but they continue to post clues through Friday for the contest.

On Thursday:
You can view some of the international book covers on Bohjalian's website. These are always of great interest to me. I also find it interesting that rather than being translated, oftentimes the title is changed -- even in the English-speaking UK. The Millions did an interesting comparison of U.S. and U.K. book covers of recent popular titles back in February.

And finally, the easiest clue of all came on Friday:
Bohjalian's The Night Strangers will release the week before the Festival. So, yes. I will be trying to cram it in before the Festival begins. It's already been getting rave reviews from all over the place.

Chris Bohjalian is the author of fourteen novels. You can follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, or on his blog, which is also called Idyll Banter. He will be at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville this October.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats! We are both so lucky to have won! I'm looking forward to this year's festival. It has been several years since I've been. =O)



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