NRGM Panelist Q&A: Dinitia Smith

nrg_monthToday is the day! National Reading Group Month Author Panel and Networking Event is tonight! 

The theme of the panel is re-imagined classics. Panelists include Lyndsay Faye (Jane Steele), Catherine Lowell (The Madwoman Upstairs), Elizabeth Nunez (Even in Paradise) and Dinitia Smith (The Honeymoon)! Sam Raim will moderate the panel. He is an associate editor at Penguin Books, where he edits original fiction and nonfiction for Penguin Books, as well as reissues, translations, and anthologies for Penguin Classics. 


Date: TONIGHT!!!!

Time: 6pm – 8pm

Location: Pen + Brush Gallery, 29 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010


Tickets: Members are free. Non-members $5-10


Each day this week, WNBA-NYC blog will highlight each panelist with a book description and a few get-to-know-you questions. (Due to technical difficulties with the blog you may not have received the subscriber email. You can read about Lyndsay Faye here and Catherine Lowell here and Elizabeth Nunez here.)

Today we will be getting to know 2016 Great Group Reads Author:


Dinitia Smith


Title: The Honeymoon

New York, NY,  September 9, 2015: ---   Dinitia Smith, author, in her library.                                   © Audrey C. Tiernan

New York, NY, September 9, 2015: — Dinitia Smith, author, in her library. © Audrey C. Tiernan

Publisher: Other Press


Dinitia Smith’s spellbinding novel recounts George Eliot’s honeymoon in Venice in June 1880 following her marriage to a handsome NRGM Panelist Q&A: Dinitia Smithyoung man twenty years her junior. When she agreed to marry John Walter Cross, Eliot was recovering from the death of George Henry Lewes, her beloved companion of twenty-six years. Eliot was bereft: left at the age of sixty to contemplate profound questions about her physical decline, her fading appeal, and the prospect of loneliness.

In her youth, Mary Ann Evans—who would later be known as George Eliot—was a country girl, considered too plain to marry, so she educated herself in order to secure a livelihood. In an era when female novelists were objects of wonder, she became the most famous writer of her day—with a male nom de plume. The Honeymoon explores different kinds of love, and of the possibilities of redemption and happiness even in an imperfect union. Smith integrates historical truth with her own rich rendition of Eliot’s inner voice, crafting a page-turner that is as intelligent as it is gripping.



WNBA: What are you currently reading?
DS: As usual, I’m reading several books at once.  They include: the galleys of my friend, Patricia Bosworth’s new memoir, “The Men in My Life” – delicious;  Adam Haslett’s new novel, “Imagine Me Gone” – very moving; “My Own Life,” an adaptation of the life of the 17th. century biographer, John Aubrey, by Ruth Scurr, which has fictional elements similar to my own new novel, “The Honeymoon.”

WNBA: What was the very first classic you read? Did you like it? 
DS: Difficult to answer, as I read so many great childrens’ book classics as a young person.  But perhaps the most important of the great classics, which I first read in college, was James Joyce’s “Ulyssees,” and then, “Finnegans Wake.”

WNBA: When did you discover your passion for writing? 
DS: As a young teenager, living in a somewhat isolated part of New York State, trying to entertain myself by writing stories, and also using them to make sense of my own life.

WNBA: How would you describe your writing process? 
DS: For fiction, it’s somewhat difficult, of course!  In the early stages of a novel, I can limit myself to about two hours a day beginning in the morning –because it is so hard.  As I get going, and arrive at the later delicious stages of re-writing, I can work for several hours longer.

WNBA: What is your favorite color? 
DS: Black!

About Blog Editor

The Women’s National Book Association was founded in 1917 by female booksellers who weren’t allowed in the men’s organizations. Nearly 100 years later, the WNBA is still supporting women in the book industry through literary events, networking, literacy projects, workshops, open mic nights, book clubs, and many other entertaining programs throughout the season!

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