The New York chapter of the Women’s National Book Association celebrated National Reading Group Month with its annual panel of acclaimed authors, held this year on October 22 at the historic General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen Library.
Moderator Jean Hanff Korelitz, author of You Should Have Known Better and other novels and founder of BOOKTHEWRITER, a New York City–based service that connects authors and book groups, posed questions to the all-female group of writers regarding their latest books: Nomi Eve (Henna House); Lucy Ferriss (A Sister to Honor); Ann Hood (The Italian Wife); Patricia Park (Re Jane); and Lily Tuck (The Double Life of Liliane). The authors were generous in revealing the aspects of the writing process they went through when basing their novels on personal or family history or on-the-ground research into another culture, and in some cases a combination of both.
Also frankly discussed were the authors’ individual experiences with book groups (consensus: well worth it but not everyone has the stamina to match Nomi Eve, who met with 100 book groups for her latest novel) and the suggested readers’ guides inserted by publishers (not widely followed or used just as starting points).
Most of the audience was already familiar with two of the novels, having been included in the WNBA 2015 selections for Great Group Reads: Henna House by Nomi Eve and A Sister to Honor by Lucy Ferriss. However, we all came away wanting to read (and discuss) the books of the other wonderful panelists as well.
A book-signing followed the panel.