Saturday, July 20, 2013

Book Spotlight and a Giveaway! Baker Towers and News From Heaven by Jennifer Haigh

Baker Towers
News From Heaven

Today I am spotlighting two books. They are both by the same author and they are connected. News from Heaven is a book of stories about some of the characters the author writes about in Baker Towers. I have read both of these books and loved the characters and the stories. You can read my thoughts about Baker Towers here and News from Heaven here.

Bakerton is a community of company houses and church festivals, of union squabbles and firemen's parades. Its neighborhoods include Little Italy, Swedetown, and Polish Hill. For its tight-knit citizens -- and the five children of the Novak family -- the 1940s will be a decade of excitement, tragedy, and stunning change.

Baker Towers is a family saga and a love story, a hymn to a time and place long gone, to America's industrial past, and to the men and women we now call the Greatest Generation. It is a feat of imagination from an extraordinary voice in American fiction, a writer of enormous power and skill. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

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

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.

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  1. Thank you for your generous giveaway. I like books about towns where the books are stand alone but still connected. Your books seem to be like that. I would love to read them.

  2. Sounds like interesting stories

  3. Both books sound really good. I would enjoy reading them. Thanks for having this wonderful giveaway.

  4. I read Faith and loved it-I'd love to read these two!


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