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A Red Ruby Heart on the way to New Orleans

April 22, 2012

Sometimes a straight line is a curve. That’s Tai Chi talk. It also describes the path to a major US press taken by Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea, the debut novel by literary colleague (and grad school friend) Morgan Callan Rogers. The novel, set on the Maine coast and narrated by a girl whose mother disappears, first caught the attention of a German press that specializes in maritime stories. I’m sure they were attracted by the excellent storytelling and Morgan’s intimate knowledge of coastal living:

Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea

As the water got deeper, it got colder. My ears felt as if they were pressing against my brains, and I wanted to head back up in the worst way. But Bud grabbed my hand and we spiraled down, until he stopped and pointed.

We’d reached an underwater city of rusty black rocks, where barnacles dotted the surfaces. Seaweed church steeples reached for the light. The far-above sun filtered through them, and Bud and I wove our way through their paths. An olive-colored crab marched backward between two rocks as two small silver fish swam past. A flash of white belly gave a flounder away as it sped off.

Astute readers soon made the German translation a bestseller in their country, which encouraged Viking to release it back across the ocean in Morgan’s native land and tongue.

In Boston she’ll be at the new location of Newtonville Books on Monday, April 23 at 7:00 pm. She will be joined by Kevin Barry, author of City of Bohane. I’m excited to hear Morgan read her pitch-perfect dialogue and to see the new digs of Newtonville Books.

Later next week, I’ll Pull Over the Car to see Dana, Jeremy, and Jerome in New Orleans

Members of Morphine & Jeremy Lyons

We’re going to the first weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Special treat will be a major stage set by Jeremy Lyons and Members of Morphine in the Blues Tent on Saturday, April 28 at 12:25 pm. If you’re not walking (or flying or training or driving) to New Orleans, you can tune in to a live broadcast by WWOZ on-line. Good times, y’all!

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