Wood brings her ‘Boy’ to Belfast

Apr 12, 2017
Monica Wood

Belfast — Internationally acclaimed author Monica Wood will visit Left Bank Books, 109 Church St., Friday, April 21, at 7 p.m. She will give a talk on The Writing Life: Roller Coaster and Merry Go Round and then sign copies of all her books, including the just-released paperback version of “The One-in-a-Million Boy.” The public is warmly invited to this free event.

Wood, who was born in Mexico, Maine, to a family of devout Irish Catholics, writes about the theme of family in all of her work — “that collection of people who accompanied us, for better or worse, through the process of learning how to find our way into the world  … It is this family that must be alternately escaped from and returned to, over and over, in the family dance."

The “One-in-a-Million Boy” continues Wood's theme of creating families from disparate parts. Wood finished writing “Boy” in 2008, and it was promptly rejected by her publisher.  Feeling “betrayed and devastated," she started writing about home, which comforted her. The result was her best-selling memoir, “When We Were the Kennedys,” which won the 2012 May Sarton Memoir Award and the 2013 Maine Literary Award for memoir.

Even after the success of her memoir, Wood said that the rejected novel still "felt like poison," so she wrote a play, “The Papermaker,” which debuted at Portland Stage in 2016 and played to sold-out houses during its seven-week run.

After the play closed, Wood's husband took the abandoned manuscript of “Boy” and read it aloud to his wife over the course of several nights. She realized that it was a good novel and, after a few months of tweaking some of the characters, sent it to her agent on a Friday; on Monday, it was sold. The novel has now been published in 18 foreign countries.

Although Wood's talk is free, reservations are strongly encouraged, as the shop has limited seating; call 338-9009 or email leftbank@myfairpoint.net to reserve a seat.  Left Bank Books is located downtown, in the historic Opera House Block across the street from the police station. Ample parking is available in front of the shop and in an adjacent lot.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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