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Join the Enoch Pratt Free Library for an afternoon with debut novelists: Jane Delury, author of The Balcony, and Meghan Kenny, author of The Driest Season.
The Balcony follows the inhabitants of a single estate—including a manor and a servants' cottage—over the course of several generations, from the Belle Époque to the present day. Cross-generational connections and troubled legacies haunt the same spaces: a young American au pair develops a crush on her brilliant employer, an ex-courtesan shocks the servants, a Jewish couple in hiding from the Gestapo attracts the curiosity of the neighbors, and a housewife begins an affair while renovating her downstairs. Rich and poor, young and old, powerful and persecuted, all of these people are seeking something: meaning, love, a new beginning, or merely survival. The Balcony is brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.
Jane Delury's short stories have appeared in Narrative, The Southern Review, The Yale Review, Glimmer Train, Five Points, and other publications. She has received a PEN/O. Henry Prize, a Pushcart Special Mention, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Story Award, a VCCA fellowship, and grants from the Maryland State Arts Council. She is an associate professor of creative writing and English at the University of Baltimore, where she chairs the School of Communications Design.
The Driest Season creates a moving portrait of Cielle’s struggle to make sense of her father’s time on earth, and of her own. As her Wisconsin community endures a long season of drought and feels the shockwaves of World War II, fifteen-year-old Cielle endures a more personal calamity: the unexpected death of her father. On a balmy summer afternoon, she finds him hanging in the barn―the start of a dark secret that threatens her family’s livelihood. A war rages elsewhere, while in the deceptive calm of the American heartland, Cielle’s family contends with a new reality and fights not to be undone.
Meghan Kenny is the author of the short story collection Love Is No Small Thing. She has been awarded The Iowa Review Award, and has been a Tickner Writing Fellow in Baltimore, a scholar at Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers' Conferences, and an emerging writer at Franklin & Marshall's Emerging Writers Festival. She lives and teaches in Lancaster, PA.
TIME & DATE
Saturday, April 7, 2018 - 3:00pm