I have not read any books by Sue Monk Kidd yet, but have heard a lot of good things about her new book. Plus, one of my goals for the new year is to attend as many author events as I can and with Greenwich being only about 45 minutes away, I decided to go and am really glad I did. The event was held in the library's auditorium and had seating for just over 350 and was packed, despite the freezing temperatures we had last night!
One of the things I love about attending author events is that you get to see them in a more personal light. Reading their work is one thing, but hearing them speak about their book(s), their life experiences, their passions - makes them more real in a sense. Plus, I absolutely love when authors read from the books. They just know their characters and can put the right inflections and tone into the reading - it's truly a gift hearing an author read their own work.
Sue started the evening off telling us about her inspiration for the book. She had been to Brooklyn Museum to see an exhibit called The Dinner Party and came across the names of two sisters who happened to be from Charleston, where Sue was living and had been living for twelve years. She was surprised she had never heard of the sisters before and started researching them and thus her story was born.
The Invention of Wings is a marriage of fiction and history and this was a challenge for Sue. She wanted to tell the sisters' story, but she also wanted to have the freedom to re-imagine things as well. Once she 'gave' herself permission to do so, ideas flowed more easily to her.
After talking about the book for a bit, Sue read a few passages to us. She introduced us to both Hettie, the housemaid, and to Sarah. Hearing Sue read them, the words were lyrical and it was easy to get caught up in the story. I am really looking forward to reading the book myself now to see how it all comes together!
Sue answered some questions next and then, my other favorite part - signed books! It was a great night and I really do hope to get to this book soon. Have you read it yet? Have you read any of her other books?