Arts and Entertainment

Author Howard Norman visits Winslow bookstore to talk about his latest novel

    - Book cover image courtesy of Eagle Harbor Book Company
— image credit: Book cover image courtesy of Eagle Harbor Book Company

Howard Norman — a three-time winner of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and a winner of the Lannan Award for fiction — will return to Eagle Harbor Books this week to talk about his just-released book, "The Next Life Might Be Kinder."

The big book event is 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 22 at the Winslow bookstore.

In "The Next Life Might Be Kinder," Sam Lattimore meets Elizabeth Church in 1970s Halifax, Nova Scotia, in an art gallery.

The sparks are immediate, leading quickly to a marriage that is dear, erotically charged and brief.

In Norman's spellbinding and moving novel, the gleam of the marriage and the circumstances of Elizabeth's murder are revealed in heart-stopping increments. Sam's life afterward is complicated. For one thing, in a moment of desperate confusion, he sells his life story to a Norwegian filmmaker named Istvakson, known for the stylized violence of his films, whose artistic drive sets in motion an increasingly intense cat-and-mouse game between the two men. For another, Sam has begun "seeing" Elizabeth — not only seeing but holding conversations with her, almost every evening, and watching her line up books on a small beach. What at first seems simply hallucination born of terrible grief reveals itself, evening by evening, as something else entirely.

Said Eagle Harbor Books bookseller John Willson in his staff recommendation: "A masterfully realized story of love between two memorable and fiercely independent characters, this remarkable novel also encompasses murder, apparitions of the dead, the idiosyncrasies of therapy and grief, and the arts of watching shore birds and making films. Its authenticity partly originates from the rendering of Howard Norman country — Nova Scotia — that we've come to know from his other great novels including 'The Bird Artist' and 'What Is Left the Daughter.' Offering much food for thought regarding the distance between life and the representation of life in art, this is Norman's best novel yet."

Eagle Harbor Book Company is located at 157 Winslow Way E.

All events at Eagle Harbor Books are free and open to the public. Advance purchase of the book will mean seating in the reserved area up front.

For further information, contact the bookstore at 206-842-5332.


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates