Sylvia Brownrigg, Joshua Henkin, and Jennie Shortridge talk with moderator Leah Garchik about their recent novels dealing with the intimacies and intricacies of marriage.
They discuss the unique process of writing about such a personal topic, and explore how books about marriage relate to the real thing.
Sylvia Brownrigg is the author of several acclaimed works of fiction: four novels, Morality Tale, The Delivery Room, Pages for You, and The Metaphysical Touch, and a collection of stories, Ten Women Who Shook the World.
Newly forthcoming in the US this fall will be The Delivery Room, a novel the London Times called "intensely intelligent and highly readable" and the Observer "outstanding. . . a marvelous novel." Morality Tale was described in the New York Times as "divinely deadpan", and in the San Francisco Chronicle as a "witty parable of marriage."
Brownrigg's works have been included in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times lists of notable fictions and have been translated into several languages, and she has won a Lambda award for fiction.
Her short stories have appeared in Zoetrope: All Story, the art journal frieze, and the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as several anthologies. "The Bird Chick" was read on BBC Radio 4 and "Amazon" was one of NPR's Selected Shorts. In addition to writing fiction, Sylvia Brownrigg has also taught at the American University in Paris and been widely published as a reviewer and critic.
Brownrigg grew up in Los Altos, California, and Oxford, England, was educated at Yale and Johns Hopkins Universities, and lived for many years in London. She is now married to San Francisco radio host Sedge Thomson and lives in Berkeley with their son and daughter, and her stepson. The family continues to spend time in England.
Joshua Henkin grew up in New York City and holds a B.A from Harvard and an M.F.A. from the University of Michigan. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Mother Jones, The Nation, Ploughshares, Southern Review, and elsewhere. He has received a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, Hopwood awards in the short story, novel, and essay categories, and, for Matrimony, a James Fellowship for Novel in Progress from the Heekin Group Foundation.
Bestselling author Jennie Shortridge has three published novels: Riding with the Queen, (NAL 2003), Eating Heaven (2005), and Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe (2008). Prior to writing novels, her nonfiction work appeared regularly in magazines and newspapers, including Glamour, Mademoiselle, Natural Home, and others. The Seattle writer has been called "an accomplished and superior novelist" by the Statesmen Journal and "a writer to watch out for," by the Rocky Mountain News. She tries not to let it go to her head.
Jennie Shortridge, author of Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe, argues one of the key reasons many people write about romance and marriage can be traced back to the extreme chemical effect love has on the human brain.