Sunday, December 11, 2011

An Author Event-Hillary Jordan, When She Woke

On December 5th, the award winning author Hillary Jordan stopped by Flyleaf Books in North Carolina for a book signing, and lucky lil me got to go! Hillary Jordan is the beautiful author of When She Woke, a new age re-imaging of The Scarlet Letter and the popular book, Mudbound.

While there I got to listen to Hillary read an excerpt from the first two chapters of her new book When She Woke and then sit down for a book signing. During the reading Hillary did a great job of changing her accent  when different Characters where speaking, and did a very convincing country accent for the local pastor in the story. 
After the reading Hillary took questions and told us a very funny story about her journey over the border of Canada where she traveled to research how to get her heroine across the border, but while speaking french with the border patrol she used the french word for Heroin not Heroine (the woman character in a book) haha. Everyone started laughing and of course she had to wait while they check under her car and eventually just decided she was crazy and let her go :)
She did want her readers to know that When She Woke is not a retelling of The Scarlet Letter, but does have some modern day elements from some of the scenes in the book, and contains many of the same ideas and struggles. 
When asked if she knew what the ending of the book would be before she started writing, she said no, and used a quote by E.L. Doctorow, “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way” to explain. I really liked this explanation :)
I bought When She Woke at Flyleaf and had Hillary sign it and even got to take a picture with her! I love Flyleaf and many authors stop there, so be sure to support a small bookstore and reserve to get a signed copy from your favorite authors even if you don't live in North Carolina.

Hillary Jordan
Hillary Jordan grew up in Texas and Oklahoma. She received her BA in English and Political Science from Wellesley College and spent fifteen years working as an advertising copywriter before starting to write fiction. She got her MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. 

Hillary is the author of two novels, both from Algonquin Books: MUDBOUND, published in 2008, and WHEN SHE WOKE, 2011. 

MUDBOUND won the 2006 Bellwether Prize for Fiction, founded by Barbara Kingsolver and awarded biennially to a debut novel that addresses issues of social justice. It also won an Alex Award from the American Library Association and was long-listed for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize. It was the NAIBA Fiction Book of the Year for 2008, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick, a Borders Original Voices selection, a BookSense pick and one of twelve New Voices of 2008 chosen by Waterstone's UK. Paste Magazine named it one of the Top Ten Debut Novels of the Decade

When She Woke

Hannah Payne’s life has been devoted to church and family. But after she’s convicted of murder, she awakens to a nightmarish new life. She finds herself lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes—criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime—is a sinister form of entertainment. Hannah is a Red for the crime of murder. The victim, says the State of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the father, a public figure with whom she shared a fierce and forbidden love. 

Me with Hillary, Author of When She Woke

1 comment:

Ελλάδα said...

What an interesting read.......while this novel doesn't exactly feel like a realistic view of where America is headed, it is without a doubt a cautionary tale regarding Evangelism and women's rights. Hannah is a true heroine in this book who transforms from a girl blindly led by half belief to an independent free thinking woman transforming her faith along the way.