Chester Welcomes 16th New Voices

Misty Valley Books' 16th annual New Voices, a free showcase of new authors, will take place on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. in the First Universalist Church in Chester's Stone Village.

Yearly, the Chester bookstore invites new talents from around the country whose work is promising to share their first books with Vermont audiences.

Past New Voices have included Gregory Maguire (Wicked), Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha), Dennis Lehane (Mystic River), Claire Messud (The Emperor's Children) and nearly 100 others.

After the session, the public is invited to a reception put on by the Church and a book signing.

The public can also cross country ski or snowshoe with the authors Saturday morning at Grafton Ponds at 9:30 (www. graftonponds.com) and wine-and cheese (5:45) and dine (6:30) with them at the Fullerton Inn on the Green next to Misty Valley Books Saturday evening (call the Inn at 875-2444 for reservations and prices).

The first to present her work will be Deborah Copaken Kogan. Kogan is a veteran photojournalist, who has covered wars in the Middle East and the Balkans. Her first novel, Between Here and April (Algonquin), attempts a heart-wrenching answer to the question, "How could a mother kill her children?"

When a deep-rooted memory suddenly surfaces, Elizabeth Burns becomes obsessed with the long-ago disappearance of her childhood friend April Cassidy. Driven to investigate, Elizabeth discovers a 35-year-old newspaper article revealing the details that had been hidden from her as a child -shocking revelations about April's mother, Adele. Elizabeth, now herself a mother, tracks down the people who knew Adele Cassidy and who thought that they knew what was going through her mind before she committed that most incomprehensible of crimes. Elizabeth comes finally to a fearsome reckoning with what it means to be a wife and mother. She lives with her family in New York City. Nancy Pennell of Chester will introduce her.

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