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Baltimore Magazine’s pick as the best reading series in town, this month Starts Here! features Christopher K. Doyle (Purchase), Jill McCroskey Coupe (True Stories at the Smoky View) and Michelle Junot (Notes From My Phone*).
Set in 1930s America, Purchase centers on the unlikely friendship between a black fugitive from the law and a white fugitive from an abusive home, and how it changes their lives, their fortunes, and the foundations of country music.
Christopher K. Doyle grew up in Brunswick, Maryland, a small town nestled on the banks of the Potomac River and Blue Ridge Mountains. After receiving his MFA from the University of Baltimore, he has written about the origins of country music, an embattled elementary school principal in urban America, and the C&O Canal. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, daughter and bluetick coonhound, all in a cramped row house.
True Stories at the Smoky View is a wry, intricate novel about family and friendship, tyranny and justice. Although Vrai, an art history librarian in Baltimore, has not spoken to her friend Skip for over a year, after his sudden death, she dutifully takes his ashes and his dog home to his mother in Knoxville, Tennessee. There, he rescues ten-year-old orphan Jonathan, who has been abandoned in the funeral home parking lot, setting off a ‘kidnapping’ plot. The Blizzard of 1993 soon strands this unlikely duo at the Smoky View Motel, where Jonathan comes across clues pointing to a possible suspect in Skip’s death. By the end of this story of mutual rescue, both Vrai’s and Jonathan’s lives have been changed forever.
Jill McCroskey Coupe grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. A former librarian at Johns Hopkins University, she has an MFA in Fiction from North Carolina’s Warren Wilson College. The Southern Appalachians always feel like home to her, but so does Baltimore, where she now lives.
Michelle Junot has kept notes on her phone for years—what to pick up at the store, work-out logs, prayers, hopes, thoughts on life and death—all the while creating a snapshot of her life with an honesty that only occurs when not paying attention. In Notes From My Phone* Junot opens up her phone and her life to you. This collection of essays, to-do lists, vignettes, reminders and dreams mixes heart-felt memoir with the everyday marginalia that makes up a twenty-something’s life and day planner. The everyday is placed side-by-side with the universal, and in doing so, transcends to be more than the sum of its parts. If, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” then Notes From My Phone*, celebrates life in all its tedious and troubling beauty.
Michelle Junot was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana. She now lives with her six plants in Baltimore where she writes and drinks unsafe amounts of coffee. She is the author of and the floor was always lava, a collection of essays, and is the Creative Editor of Writers & Words.
TIME & DATE
Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 7:00pm