The Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series presents Emma Donoghue, author of the international bestseller Room, and Hari Kunzru, named to Granta’s “20 Best Young Novelists.” Donoghue and Kunzru will read from their new books, Astray and Gods Without Men, followed by an on-stage interview conducted by novelist and University of Houston Honors College faculty member Robert Cremins, and a book sale and signing, giving audience members a chance meet the authors.
Emma Donoghue, born in Dublin, is a writer of contemporary and historical fiction, story collections, and plays for stage and radio. National Book Award winner Colum McCann says that "Emma Donoghue is one of the great literary ventriloquists of our time. Her imagination is kaleidoscopic." Her novels include the bestselling Slammerkin, Life Mask, Stirfry, and Room, which sold more than a million copies, was a New York Times Best Book of 2010, and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. The Washington Post called Room "one of the most affecting and subtly profound novels of the year." Donoghue will be reading from her new story collection Astray, which Booklist describes as "masterful .... Revolutionary-era New Jersey, Civil War-era Texas, the gold rush Yukon, and many other settings come to life in this wonderfully imaginative, transporting collection." Novelist Ann Patchett says, "Time and again, Emma Donoghue writes books that are unlike anything I have ever seen before .... There is such a deep and compassionate imagination at work in every story."
Hari Kunzru, a British writer of Kashmiri descent who was named to Granta's list of "20 Best Young Novelists," has published four novels and a book of short stories, including Transmission and My Revolutions, both New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He received a one million pound advance and won the Somerset Maugham Award for his first novel, The Impressionist. The Independent calls his new book, Gods Without Men, "Kunzru's great American novel." Set in the Mojave Desert, the book spans centuries and multiple points of view. In starred reviews, Publishers Weekly calls it a "pitch-perfect masterwork" and Kirkus Reviews "an astonishing tour de force." Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times describes it as "a gripping thriller.... Kunzru uses his extraordinary gifts as a storyteller...to turn a tabloidy tale into a genuinely moving portrait of a marriage and the difficulties of parenthood." Kunzru made headlines in 2003 for turning down the prestigious Rhys Prize, and again in 2012 for reading aloud, with three other writers, excerpts from Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses at the Jaipur Literature Festival (Asia's largest literary gathering), after Rushdie's appearance had been cancelled by festival organizers.