Joanne Kelly's Bookclub
Hosted by Joanne Kelly, formerly of SHAW TV and currently teacher of Journalism in the Creative Communications Program at Red River College.
Want to talk books with other book lovers – but without the commitment of a regular book club? Joanne Kelly and McNally Robinson Booksellers have created a new kind of book club open to everyone in Winnipeg.
We will announce a new book at the beginning of each month through McNally Robinson's The Bookseller newsletter. You simply read the book and show up at McNally the last Tuesday of the month to talk about the book. You can pick and choose the books you want to read – and the book clubs you want to attend.
The choice for March 2014 is Amanda Coplin's stunningly original and haunting debut novel The Orchardist (HarperCollins Publishers). Within its pages Coplin evokes a powerful sense of place, mixing tenderness and violence as she spins an engrossing tale of a solitary orchardist who provides shelter to two runaway teenage girls in the untamed American West, and the dramatic consequences of his actions.
At once intimate and epic, The Orchardist is historical fiction at its best, in the grand literary tradition of William Faulkner, Marilynne Robinson, Michael Ondaatje, Annie Proulx, and Toni Morrison.
At the turn of the twentieth century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a reclusive orchardist, William Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were loved ones. A gentle man, he's found solace in the sweetness of the fruit he grows and the quiet, beating heart of the land he cultivates. One day, two teenage girls appear and steal his fruit from the market; they later return to the outskirts of his orchard to see the man who gave them no chase. Feral, scared, and very pregnant, the girls take up on Talmadge's land and indulge in his deep reservoir of compassion. Just as the girls begin to trust him, men arrive in the orchard with guns, and the shattering tragedy that follows will set Talmadge on an irrevocable course not only to save and protect but also to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.
Transcribing America as it once was before railways and roads connected its corners, Amanda Coplin weaves a tapestry of solitary souls who come together in the wake of unspeakable cruelty and misfortune. She writes with breathtaking precision and empathy, and in The Orchardist she crafts an astonishing debut novel about a man who disrupts the lonely harmony of an ordered life when he opens his heart and lets the world in.
Amanda Coplin was born in Wenatchee, Washington. She received her BA from the University of Oregon and MFA from the University of Minnesota. A recipient of residencies from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and the Omi International Arts Center at Ledig House in Ghent, New York, she lives in Portland, Oregon.
Pick up the book at McNally Robinson, read it over the course of the month and join us on Tuesday March 25 at 7:00 pm for refreshments and discussion! Get in touch with Joanne through e-mail here or with John at McNally Robinson here or by calling 453-0424, ex 227 if you have any questions.
The Book Club's past and future choices include:
January 2011: Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
February 2011: Colm Toibin's Brooklyn (McClelland & Stewart)
March 2011: Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
April 2011: Lauren Grodstein's A Friend of the Family (Algonquin Books)
May 2011: Chris Cleave's Little Bee (Doubleday Canada)
June 2011: Chang Rae-Lee's The Surrendered (Berkley Publishing)
July 2011: Kate Grenville's The Secret River (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
September 2011: Tom Franklin's Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
October 2011: Jessica Grant's Come Thou Tortoise (Knopf Canada)
November 2011: Dave Eggers' Zeitoun (Knopf Canada)
January 2012: David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas (Knopf Canada)
February 2012: Austin Wright's Tony and Susan (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
March 2012: David Wroblewski's The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (Doubleday Canada)
April 2012: Alan Weisman's The World Without Us (HarperCollins Publishers, Ltd)
May 2012: Bobbie Anne Mason's Feather Crowns (HarperCollins Publishers, Ltd)
June 2012: Carol Birch's Jamrach's Menagerie (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
September 2012: Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge (Random House Publishing Group)
October 2012: Christopher Wakling's What I Did (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
November 2012: Jonas Jonasson's The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
January 2013: Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers (Random House of Canada)
February 2013: Shalom Auslander's Hope: A Tragedy (Penguin Group Canada)
March 2013: Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now (Random House of Canada)
April 2013: Cheryl Strayed's Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)
May 2013: Yannick Murphy's The Call (HarperCollins Canada)
June 2013: Octavia E. Butler's Kindred (Beacon Press)
August 2013: Benjamin Hale's The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore (Grand Central Publishing)
September 2013: Andrew Kaufman's Born Weird (Random House of Canada)
October 2013: Kevin Powers' The Yellow Birds: A Novel (Little, Brown, and Company)
November 2013: Alfred Lansing's Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage (Basic Books)
January 2014: Liz Moore's Heft (WW Norton & Company)
February 2014: David R. Gillham's City of Women (Berkley Books)
March 2014: Amanda Coplin's The Orchardist (HarperCollins Publishers)
April 2014: Helene Wecker's The Golem and the Jinni (HarperCollins Publishers)
May 2014: Richard Wagamese's Indian Horse (Douglas & McIntyre)
June 2014: Katherine Boo's Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity (Random House of Canada)