Second Acts: Three Authors Hope Their Sequels Live Up to the Originals
In its fifth year, the Boston Book Festival has expanded from a single-day blowout to a weekend-long extravaganzaâ€”it descends on Copley Square from October 17 to 19â€”with a heavy-hitting keynote speaker: Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie. He leads a fiction lineup that runs from horror king Wes Craven to spy-turned-spy-novelist Valerie Plame Wilson. But for three Massachusetts authors, the festival will be a chance to test out high-stakes second acts: All of them will be flogging recently published sequels to their most highly acclaimed works.
Lives in Melrose
PART ONE:Â In Werlinâ€™s 2008 YA novel Impossible, a teenager named Lucy has to deal with a post-rape pregnancy. But thatâ€™s the least of her troubles: She also discovers that sheâ€™s living on the short end of an old family curse, and if she doesnâ€™t complete three arduous tasks, sheâ€™ll go mad when her baby is born.
PART TWO:Â Unthinkable, released September 12, reveals the origin of the curse, as Lucyâ€™s 400-year-old ancestor tries to earn her way out of the fairy realm at great cost.
Lives in the South End
PART ONE:Â A veteran childrenâ€™s author, Gantos is no stranger to sequels, having created successful book series before. In 2012, he won the Newbery Medal for Dead End in Norvelt, a novel that features a protagonistâ€”also named Jack Gantosâ€”who gets a job typing up newspaper obituaries for the aging denizens of his Rust Belt hometown.
PART TWO:Â From Norvelt to Nowhere, released September 24. In this sequel, Jack takes a road trip with his elderly mentor, Miss Volker, to confront a murderer.
Lives in Georgetown
PART ONE:Â Harding, a former rock drummer, became a dark-horse winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his debut novel, Tinkers. The slim volume follows George Washington Crosby, a dying man, as he looks back on his familyâ€™s history with mental illness and epilepsy.
PART TWO:Â Enon, released September 10. Here Harding extends the Crosby family saga with the same keen eye for quiet despair, as Georgeâ€™s grandson Charlie mourns his daughterâ€™s accidental death.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/article/2013/10/16/boston-authors-sequels/