Book Reviews – June 2014

Two Novelists: Elizabeth Gilbert & Jeannette Walls

Malaprop’s bookstore will present two ticketed events this month.

Catch Jeannette Walls for a discussion and signing of The Silver Star on June 6, and Elizabeth Gilbert for a discussion and signing of The Signature of All Things on June 27.

Jeannette Walls: The Silver Star

Jeannette Walls has written a deeply moving novel about triumph over adversity and about people who find a way to love each other and the world, despite its flaws and injustices.

Walls graduated from Barnard College and was a journalist in New York. Her memoir, The Glass Castle, has been a New York Times bestseller for more than six years. She is the author of a novel, Half Broke Horses, named one of the ten best books of 2009 by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. She lives in rural Virginia with her husband, the writer John Taylor.

Walls’s visit takes place on June 6 at 7 pm at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe. This is a ticketed event. We highly encourage you to purchase tickets ahead of time, as we expect the event may sell out. Tickets are $10 and come with a coupon for $5 off of The Silver Star.

Elizabeth Gilbert: The Signature Of All Things

The Signature of All Things is a beguiling novel of desire and discovery spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Gilbert triumphantly returns to fiction with this novel, which is written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time.

Brilliantly researched and lovingly crafted, The Signature of All Things carries the reader breathlessly across the globe, from London and Peru to Tahiti and Amsterdam. It is a work of extraordinary faith and of deep scientific reflection. Perhaps above all, it is the story of an irrepressible woman, determined to satisfy her most powerful urges toward both love and knowledge. A novel immersed in all the great questions of the nineteenth century, The Signature of All Things is also very much a novel for our times.

Elizabeth Gilbert is the acclaimed author of five books of fiction and nonfiction. Her 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, was a #1 New York Times bestseller; it has been published in more than thirty languages and has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, and in 2010 was made into a major motion picture starring Julia Roberts.

Gilbert’s first two books, the short story collection Pilgrims, and the novel Stern Men were New York Times Notable Books, and her most recent work, Committed – a memoir of marriage – was a #1 New York Times bestseller. In 2008, Time magazine named Gilbert one of the most influential people in the world.

Gilbert’s visit takes place on June 27 at 7 p.m. at Lipinsky Auditorium, One University Heights, on the UNCA Campus. This event is presented in partnership with the Great Smokies Writing Program. This is a ticketed event. We highly encourage you to purchase tickets ahead of time, as we expect the event may sell out. Tickets are $20 and come with a paperback copy of The Signature of All Things.

If You Go: Jeannette Walls, Friday, June 6 at 7 p.m. at Malaprops, $10. Elizabeth Gilbert, Friday, June 27 at 7 p.m. at UNCA’s Lipinsky Auditorium, $20.
For more information or to purchase ticekts, please visit Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, 55 Haywood St, Asheville. Call (828) 254-6734 or go online to


Writers at Wolfe Series Features Fred Chappell

by Brandon Hunter

The Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historical Site is hosting author Fred Chappell on Saturday, June 7.

An author of the Southern experience, Fred Davis Chappell was born on a small farm in Canton, NC in 1936. He has written more than a dozen books of poetry as well novels, short stories and two books of critical prose.

Chappell has received several awards for his contributions to literature, including the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Aiken Taylor Award and was named the Poet Laureate of North Carolina spanning 1997-2002.

Chappell’s poetry and prose encapsulates the Southern experience. However, the work, Dagon, is a referential piece to H.P. Lovecraft’s story of the same name in the famed “Cthulhu Mythos.” For Dagon, Chappell was awarded the Best Foreign Book of the Year prize by the French Academy in 1972.

Chappell taught at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro for over 40 years and helped establish the MFA in writing program. Now retired, Chappell lives in North Carolina.

If You Go: Fred Chappell will read selections from his work on Saturday, June 7 from 2-3 p.m. at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, 52 North Market Street, downtown Asheville. Phone (828) 253-8304 for more details.