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Best-seller McCauley gives talk, signing at Left Bank

Jun 05, 2019
Stephen McCauley

BELFAST — The public is invited to a free author talk and signing by New York Times bestselling author Stephen McCauley at Left Bank Books, 109 Church St., on Thursday, June 20, at 7 p.m. McCauley, who is celebrating the recent paperback release of his national bestseller “My Ex-Life,” is the author of six previous novels, many of which have been national bestsellers. Three of his novels have been made into films, including "The Object of My Affection" starring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd.

The praise for My Ex-Life is unanimous and widespread. ”My Ex-Life is a rich, yet delicate ragout of wonderfully vivid characters, hilarious dialogue, and spot-on cultural criticism. It satisfies on every level,” said Richard Russo.

According to Kirkus, “McCauley's effervescent prose is full of wit and wisdom on every topic--college application essays, Airbnb operation, weed addiction, live porn websites, and, most of all, people....A gin and tonic for the soul."

McCauley, who grew up outside of Boston, had long harbored a desire to write “but rarely talked about it,” he says, “mostly because it seemed like an audacious ambition.” He enrolled in the MFA writing program at Columbia University in the 1980s and says that being in graduate school gave him the structure and excuse he needed to begin writing more seriously.

At the suggestion of a teacher who advised, “Just drop your bucket over the side and see what comes up,” McCauley submitted his first draft of “The Object of My Affection” as his thesis. His teacher sent it to an agent and shortly afterwards it was accepted by Simon and Schuster; six months later, 20th Century Fox bought an option for the film rights and McCauley’s life as a novelist was launched.

He has taught at UMass, Wellesley College and Harvard; currently, he co-directs the creative writing program at Brandeis University. McCauley says that he’s a “pretty slow and self-conscious sort of writer and, despite [his] best efforts, there’s been a gap of four or five years between books. The isolation and self-discipline writing demands doesn’t come easily to me, and so teaching has become a welcome (though time-consuming) part of my work life.”

In addition to “My Ex-Life” and “The Object of My Affection,” McCauley’s novels include “The Easy Way Out,” “The Man of the House,” “True Enough,” “Alternatives to Sex” and “Insignificant Others.” His books are very popular in France — he was named a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters and two of his novels were made into films there.

Reservations for the free talk and signing are encouraged. Please email or call 338-9009. Left Bank Books, which is celebrating its 15th birthday this August, is located in the historic opera House building. Ample parking is available on the street and in an adjacent public parking lot.

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