2014 ‘Tale’ author returning to Western New York

By Matt Krueger mkrueger@batavianews.com | Posted: Saturday, January 17, 2015 

ROCHESTER — Karen Thompson Walker, the 2014 “A Tale for Three Counties” author, will be returning to Western New York this spring, one year after she entranced Batavians with her debut novel “The Age of Miracles.”

Thompson Walker will spend March 18-20 in Rochester for that city’s one-book reading program “If All of Rochester Reads the Same Book….” It is the 16th year of the program, which began in 2001 with “A Lesson Before Dying” by Ernest J. Gaines.

“The Age of Miracles” was a much-heralded release in 2013. It tells the tale of what happens to the world when the Earth’s rotation slows through the eyes of a 12-year-old, California girl, Julia.

“As with all of our choices, we are looking for titles that will appeal to the broadest range of readers, and especially books that explore issues we can dive deeply into during our nearly two months of programming before the author arrives,” said Karen van Meenen, coordinator of the reading program.

More than two dozen book discussions have been planned. Also included in the programs schedule of events is a pair of presentations by Steve Fentress, director of the Strasenburgh Planetarium, as well as presentations on climate issues and sleep disorders. For a full list of events, visit www.wab.org.

“‘The Age of Miracles’ has very timely content, which is reflected in this program of events, and that we expect to engender some very rich conversations among readers,” van Meenen said.

When reached by email, Thompson Walker said she is excited to return to Western New York, following her positive experience with “Tale” last year. That was just one event in a very hectic year for the author.

“Yes, 2014 was a crazy year for me,” she said. “My daughter, Hazel, was born in June, we moved from Iowa to New York in September, and then my husband’s first novel, “Last Days in Shanghai,” was published in December.”

Thompson Walker is sure to talk about her follow-up novel, which she is currently working on. She said, however, that it will be “a few years” before it is published.

This is the second time that a former “Tale” author was chosen for “If All of Rochester Reads the Same Book….” In 2004, Leif Enger’s novel “Peace Like a River” was chosen after his participation in the first “Tale” program in 2003.

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Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation

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