Inprint presents an evening of great fiction with Amber Dermont and National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward. The event, part of the 2012-2013 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. An on-stage interview will follow the reading, conducted by novelist/UH Cullen Foundation Chair in Creative Writing Robert Boswell, plus a book sale and signing at which audience members can meet the authors.
Amber Dermont, a former Inprint fellowship and prize recipient and a graduate of the UH Creative Writing Program, made a splash in the literary world last year when her debut novel The Starboard Sea received a rave review on the front page of The New York Times Book Review. The Times, which named it a Notable Book for 2012, called the novel “captivating and inspired... the language of sailing is lovely, both simple and elaborate, unexpectedly sexy and inexhaustibly metaphorical.” An engrossing coming-of-age story set among the privileged class at a New England boarding school, Janet Maslin described it as “a rich, quietly artful novel that is bound for deep water, with questions of beauty, power and spiritual navigation as its main concerns.” Dermont's new story collection Damage Control will be released at the end of March. Kirkus Reviews writes that the book “demonstrates the author's versatility and sardonic humor.... Dermont delivers strong prose and intriguing characters... the overall effect is a tight collection that takes the reader in unexpected, often disconcerting, directions.”
Jesmyn Ward, whom Publishers Weekly called “a fresh new voice in American literature” and Library Journal “fearless and toughly lyrical,” won the 2011 National Book Award for her second novel Salvage the Bones. BookPage calls it “a pitch-perfect account of struggle and community in the rural South.... Though the characters in Salvage the Bones face down Hurricane Katrina, the story isn't really about the storm. It's about people facing challenges, and how they band together to overcome adversity.” The Washington Post praised it as “masterful.... [It] has an aura of a classic about it.” In a starred review Kirkus Reviews calls it “A superbly realized work of fiction that, while Southern to the bone, transcends its region to become universal.” Her first novel, Where the Line Bleeds—honored by the Black Caucus of the National Book Awards, an Essence magazine Book Club Selection, and a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award—is also set in Mississippi on the Gulf Coast, where she grew up and still makes her home. Ward's memoir, The Men We Reaped, about the loss of her brother and other men in her community, comes out in September.