In the book business, the paperback edition is a book's second life, which means it often gets a new set of clothes. Thank you, Scribner, for the gorgeous, half-naked man. New edition hits stores August 12!
Halfway through the month, it's already been a great September for The Violet Hour.
I spoke to two wise, passionate book clubs in Maryland, one of which basically runs the city of Baltimore, the other of which (my mother-in-law's) has been meeting regularly for 25 years. I read alongside a brilliant novelist, fellow DC native Elliott Holt, at The Writer's Center in Bethesda, the same Writer's Center where I spent my college summers, registering people for workshops and aspiring to be a writer myself. And I had a great discussion with Rebecca Wiegand Coale of The Gaggle about The Violet Hour, 19th-century novels, and the Millennial generation.
I also got some pretty amazing reviews. "A gripping debut," said PEOPLE Magazine. "Wonderfully witty," said Elisabeth Egan in the Washington Post, who may have loved the book even more than me. "The Violet Hour may not be an ode to 'the unfashionable wilds of suburban Washington,' but it is a rewarding family saga reminiscent of Anne Tyler’s novels circa Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant . . . Thanks to Hill’s assured voice, the Fabricants’ occasional flashes of harmony and humor will leave you with the charmed feeling of having seen a rainbow over the Beltway."
Seriously. It doesn't get much better than that.
This co-interview was so much fun. Thanks to the prescient matchmaking of Lee Bob Black at Canteen, long-lost soul sister Alissa Nutting and I got to spend an afternoon talking about our creative processes and our first novels (mine: The Violet Hour, hers: the outrageously brilliant Tampa, about a female Humbert Humbert, which, seriously, I'm not kidding, you need to go buy and read right now). Of course we strayed to other subjects too: individualism, mosquito bites, Jerry Springer, Spring Breakers, redheads, yogurt, babies, lies.
Interview: Katherine Hill and Alissa Nutting
Canteen, August 6, 2013
Last Monday at 8pm, I had the pleasure of talking with Cindy Wolfe Boynton of the Literary New England Radio Show about doomed love, first novels, and The Violet Hour. If you missed it, you can now stream the episode, which also features Jolina Petersheim, Erin Dionne, and Jennifer Zobair. My segment starts around minute 34:20.
Literary New England Radio Show
Monday, July 29, 2013
Marshal Zeringue, the force behind a great network of blogs called the Campaign for the American Reader, recently asked me to ruminate about film adaptations of novels and what I'm reading. Honestly, he couldn't have asked better questions. Movies are so important to me as visual and aural narratives, and I will never pass up an opportunity to blab about the book at my bedside. See below for my thoughts, which naturally begin with Channing Tatum and Zadie Smith.
My Book, the Movie: The Violet Hour
On Channing Tatum, Derek Cianfrance, and Julianne Moore
Writers Read: Zadie Smith's NW
On filling holes, moral minds, and the risky phrase "higgledy piggledy"
Another lovely review of The Violet Hour from Elisabeth Atwood in BookPage :
"Don’t look for heroes or a typical love story in The Violet Hour. Hill uses sophisticated prose to convey the tone and emotions of a 20-year marriage. The rise and fall of Abe and Cassandra is complicated and cruel, yet with her evocative writing, Hill—who has an MFA from Bennington College—leaves room for redemption. Fans of authors like Sue Miller and Elizabeth Strout should take notice."
Full BookPage Review, "Adrift after the end of things."
Today at The Paris Review Daily, I confess my private obsession with tournaments, as well as the dubious but inevitable proposition of looking for friends in fiction. The occasion? A recently completed bracket of 32 characters from literature, with the objective of selecting a favorite fantasy friend. Tournaments of this kind are always a chronicle of individual prejudice, and mine, it turned out, is for an all-night friend, a writer type and ex-pat, and a hell of a good guy.
For those who missed it, my reading from The Violet Hour at Politics & Prose, is now on YouTube.
author of The Violet Hour, reader, prodigious eater of ice cream