Title: Morningstar: Growing Up with Books
Author: Ann Hood
Hardcover: ISBN: 978-0393254815, $22.95; Paperback: ISBN: 978-0-393-35556-7, $14.95
Imprint: New York: W. W. Norton, 2017
“In her admired works of fiction, including the recent The Book That Matters Most, Ann Hood explores the transformative power of literature. Now, with warmth and honesty, Hood reveals the personal story behind these beloved novels.
Growing up in a mill town in Rhode Island, in a household that didn’t foster a love of literature, Hood discovered nonetheless the transformative power of books. She learned to channel her imagination, ambitions, and curiosity by devouring ever-growing stacks. In Morningstar, Hood recollects how The Bell Jar, Marjorie Morningstar, The Harrad Experiment, and The Outsiders influenced her teen psyche and introduced her to topics that could not be discussed at home: desire, fear, sexuality, and madness. Later, Johnny Got His Gun and The Grapes of Wrath dramatically influenced her political thinking, while the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings became headline news and classics such as Dr. Zhivago and Les Misérables stoked her ambitions to travel the world. With characteristic insight and charm, Hood showcases the ways in which books gave her life and can transform―even save―our own lives.”
“Poignant, touching, and enlightening. . . . Hood provides a new rich glimpse into an Italian American childhood. A treat for bibliophiles and readers of all genres.”
– Library Journal
“Not many people could point with such specificity to books that have imparted valuable life lessons, and Hood shares beloved works with an affecting and inspiring reverence.”
“Charming. . . [an] homage to the power of books.”
“Morningstar is a love letter to the very act of reading and the power of books to light the way. I can think of no better guide than Ann Hood, whose generosity of spirit, courage, humor, gumption, and grace are a powerful reminder that language and story have the capacity to heal, to instruct, and to change our lives. What a mighty little book, so full of heart.”
– Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion and Slow Motion
“As a childhood reader myself, I loved this enchanting journey through Ann Hood’s early fascination with reading and how it shaped her life and sensibility. Hood is a delightful writer, wise, charming, and lucid, and book lovers will find Morningstar irresistible.”
– Lynne Sharon Schwartz, author of Ruined by Reading
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.