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Powerless Women in Fiction November 5, 2012

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in commercial fiction, MediaMonday, multi-cultural fiction, women's fiction.
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MediaMonday for November 5, 2012: Should Authors Write Consumer Book Reviews? Source media by Carolyn Kellogg from November 2, 2012 Los Angeles Times Jacket Copy, Why is Amazon Deleting Writers Reviews of Other Author’s Books?

Roberta Gately in #litchatSome women’s lives read like fiction. Open a newspaper and stories of abuse, neglect, poverty, and a myriad of other devices rob women of voice and power in cruel and inhumane ways. On Wednesday in #litchat, Robyn McIntyre will lead discussion on how abused, displaced and/or powerless women feature in fiction. Friday’s guest host, Roberta Gately, will continue the topic with discussion of her new novel, The Bracelet.

While training in Geneva for her new position with a UN-sponsored program in Pakistan, Abby Monroe witnesses the death of an exotic young woman. The image and mystery of the death follows her to Peshawar, where she works amid danger and despair at a UNICEF clinic monitoring childhood immunizations. Sparks fly when Abby, fresh from a recent break-up, meets arrogant New York Times reporter Nick Sinclair. A caring person, Abby is swept into a human trafficking ring where women and children are enslaved and UN moguls double-play both sides for profit and power. The death Abby witnesses in Geneva becomes a chilling coincidence when she strings the details together and must flee for her life.

A nurse, humanitarian aid worker, and writer, Roberta Gately has served in third-world war zones ranging from Africa to Afghanistan. Her first novel, Lipstick in Afghanistan, imagines another nurse in a war-torn country, this time post-9/11 Afghanistan. Gately has written on the subject of refugees for the Journal of Emergency Nursing and the BBC World News Online.  She speaks regularly on the plight of the world’s refugees and displaced.

Follow Roberta Gately on Twitter: @RobertaGately.

Inheritance September 24, 2012

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in MediaMonday.
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MediaMonday for September 24, 2012: Mugglemarch, J.K. Rowling writes a realist novel for adults, a profile of the author by Ian Parker in The New Yorker (October 1, 2012).

Barbara Lambert in #litchatWouldn’t we all like to have a rich uncle to leave us his estate? The unexpected inheritance is a trope used by authors of all genres, from the literary Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte, to the early works of Jonathan Franzen, to the stacks of romance, mystery and thrillers. On Wednesday in #litchat we’ll discuss the trope of inheritance, some of the novels which have used it effectively and ineffectively, as well as why they work. Then on Friday we’ll chat with Barbara Lambert, whose novel, The Whirling Girl, is shaped around this novel.

In the Whirling Girl, botanical artist Clare Livingstone unexpectedly inherits her uncle’s property in Tuscany. She travels to Italy to learn why, despite their long estrangement and complicated past, she was chosen to maintain his legacy. The hill town of Cortona, however, won’t give up its secrets easily. Two men pursue Claire, but with agendas of their own; neighbors pry into the story of her past; and unscrupulous archaeologists are drawn to her property in search of buried Etruscan artefacts. Once again forced to negotiate between desire and history—in a balance as fragile as the orchids she illustrates for science—Clare realizes she cannot escape her life of deception until she finally confronts the truth she has kept buried so long.

Barbara Lambert’s previous work includes A Message for Mr. Lazarus (2000) and The Allegra Series (1999). She has won the Danuta Gleed Award for Best First Collection of Short Fiction and The Malahat Review Novella Prize, and has been a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Prize and the Journey Prize. Lambert has lived in Vancouver, Ottawa, Barbados, and Cortona, Italy, where she stayed in a five-hundred-year-old mill house and researched Etruscan archaeology. She now lives on a cherry orchard in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, with her husband Douglas Lambert.

Follow Barbara Lambert on Twitter at: @BarbaraLambert4.