Thursday, February 14, 2013

On Tour: News From Heaven and a Giveaway!

The bestselling author of Faith and The Condition returns with a collection of unforgettable short stories inspired by a Pennsylvania coal-mining town and the people who call it home.

When her iconic novel Baker Towers was published in 2005, it was hailed as a modern classic--"compassionate and powerful . . . a song of praise for a too-little-praised part of America, for the working families whose toils and constancy have done so much to make the country great" (Chicago Tribune). Its young author, Jennifer Haigh, was "an expert natural storyteller with an acute sense of her characters' humanity" (New York Times).

Now, in this collection of interconnected short stories, Jennifer Haigh returns to the vividly imagined world of Bakerton, Pennsylvania, a coal-mining town rocked by decades of painful transition. From its heyday during two world wars through its slow decline, Bakerton is a town that refuses to give up gracefully, binding--sometimes cruelly--succeeding generations to the place that made them. A young woman glimpses a world both strange and familiar when she becomes a live-in maid for a Jewish family in New York City. A long-absent brother makes a sudden and tragic homecoming. A solitary middle-aged woman tastes unexpected love when a young man returns to town. With a revolving cast of characters--many familiar to fans of Baker Towers--these stories explore how our roots, the families and places in which we are raised, shape the people we eventually become.

News from Heaven looks unflinchingly at the conflicting human desires for escape and for connection, and explores the enduring hold of home. ~~ from Goodreads

My thoughts about News from Heaven ~~

News from Heaven is a collection of short stories featuring some of the characters from Haigh's previous novel, Baker Towers. I really enjoyed reading Baker Towers and posted my thoughts about it here.

Bakerton is a struggling coal mining town full of rich characters. We come to know these characters in Baker Towers and get to watch them grow up and grow old. News from Heaven digs a little deeper into some of the character's back stories and we get to understand them a little more. It also gives us a peek into the lives of some of the other people of Bakerton who played minor roles in Baker Towers but did actually have their own full and exciting lives too.

Jennifer has written two, wonderful character rich stories about a important time in our history. I spent an amazing time in Bakerton, getting to know all these people and their neighbors. I highly recommend both of these books if you like reading character-driven, generational stories of times past.

Earlier this month, Jennifer was on Book Club Girl
talking about her book, News from Heaven.
You can listen to that interview here.

About the author

Jennifer Haigh is an American novelist and short story writer. Her most recent novel, FAITH (HarperCollins, 2010), tells the story of a beloved Boston priest accused of a molesting a child. Her previous novels include the New York Times bestsellers THE CONDITION and BAKER TOWERS, winner of the 2006 PEN/L. L. Winship Award for outstanding book by a New England author. Her critically acclaimed debut novel MRS. KIMBLE won the 2004 PEN/Hemingway Award for first fiction.

Jennifer Haigh's next book, a collection of short stories entitled NEWS FROM HEAVEN, will be published in February 2013. In it she returns to the landscape of Bakerton, the western Pennsylvania coal town that is the setting for BAKER TOWERS. Characters from that novel -- indomitable Joyce Novak, her eccentric sister Dorothy and mysterious younger brother Sandy -- will return for encore performances.

Haigh was raised in Pennsylvania and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2002. Her short stories have been published widely, in The Atlantic, Granta, Ploughshares and many other places, including the forthcoming Best American Short Stories 2012. She lives in the Boston area.

Connect with Jennifer

I have Baker Towers and News from Heaven to giveaway!
Both books are set in in Bakerton and I want one lucky person to have them both.

Be sure to check out the sidebar for my other giveaways!


  1. this giveaway is wonderful. The author has written memorable books. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. I really love your dedication and appreciate your hard work!

  3. I followed with Linky Followers as well as Facebook. Great giveaway! I read Baker Towers with a book group in 2005 or so and was expecting nothing more than standard, pleasant-enough women's fiction. It blew me away, and I've read every Jennifer Haigh book since!

  4. Both books sound really good. I haven't read any books by this author, but I would love to read these. Thanks for the chance to win them.


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