BY ALICE GORMAN - Have you ever read a riveting book or seen a provocative film and wished you had the opportunity to sit down with the writer to discuss it? Through the winter season for many years, have you spotted a tall, handsome man you thought might be Tom McGuane and his beautiful wife Laurie in Hudson’s or at the library and wanted to stop and talk about his writing? Just such a once in a lifetime opportunity is coming to Boca Grande.
On February 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the home of Jane and Bob Geniesse, Thomas McGuane, the award-winning author of novels, short stories, screen plays and non-fiction works, will spend an evening of literary conversation as a benefit for the Johann Fust Library Foundation. This event will be limited to the first 60 reservations. Admission is a tax-deductible donation of $125 per person for the Library’s operating fund. The conversation will be preceded by a reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres.
As a reminder of Tom McGuane’s extensive literary career, there are many pertinent facts and high praise from critics. Besides his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and Master of Fine Arts from Yale University, he was a Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford. His first novel “The Sporting Club” was published in 1969. His second “The Bushwhacked Piano” received the Rosenthal Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an honor that began the consistent assent of his literary reputation. His third novel “Ninety-two in the Shade” set in Key West, Florida, where he lived for a time, was widely acclaimed and nominated for a National Book Award. “Panama”, also set in Key West, led the Christian Science Monitor to describe his writing by saying: “Thomas McGuane is the pool shark of our prose. His sentences click with imperious precision.”
In a review of his most recent novel, “Running on the Rim”, The Washington Post wrote, “McGuane has a way of turning the improbabilities of his unlikely pilgrim's progress into strengths. With effortless accuracy he captures the peccadilloes of small-town life, wherein everyone knows too well everyone else's business.”
His second collection of short stories, published in July 2006, “Gallatin Canyon”, was featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. The effusive reviewer not only referred to Tom McGuane as “our poet-philosopher” and stated in his lengthy review that Tom is a writer who “knows something about writing…that…he uses words as access to the soul posited as a binding reality.”
In addition, the reviewer added something rarely seen in even the most glowing tribute to an author: he said that he “would like to break with reviewerly decorum and suggest that you buy the book.”
No books will be sold at this event, but Tom has graciously offered to sign all books that participants have previously purchased.
With all that in mind, tomake a reservation for A Conversation With Tom McGuane call the Johann Fust Library Foundation at 964-2488 (voice mail) to leave your name, contact e-mail or phone number and the number of reservations requested at $125 each.
Or, you are encouraged to e-mail your request to JFLibraryFoundation@comcast.net. All reservations will be confirmed by return e-mail or phone call.
Payment may be made by check mailed to Johann Fust Library Foundation, P.O. Box 309, Boca Grande, FL 33921 or dropped by the Community Center offices. When the 60 reservations have been filled, all others will be notified and checks will be returned.
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