We are delighted to welcome you back to this in person event at our Manchester, VT store!
The critically acclaimed author of Universe of Two and The Baker’s Secret will join us to celebrate his newest novel, in conversation with Megan Mayhew Bergman. The Glass Château is a novel of hope, healing, and the redemptive power of art, set against the turmoil of post-World War II France and inspired by the life of Marc Chagall.
One month after the end of World War II, amid the jubilation in the streets of France, there are throngs of people stunned by the recovery work ahead. Every bridge, road, and rail line, every church and school and hospital, has been destroyed. Disparate factions—from Communists, to Resistance fighters, to federalists, to those who supported appeasement of the Nazis—must somehow unite and rebuild their devastated country.
Asher lost his family during the war, and in revenge served as an assassin in the Resistance. Burdened by grief and guilt, he wanders through the blasted countryside, stunned by what has become of his life. When he arrives at le Chateau Guerin, all he seeks is a decent meal. Instead he finds a sanctuary, an oasis despite being filled with people every bit as damaged as him. But they are calming themselves, and recovering inch by inch, by turning sand into glass, and glass into windows for the bombed cathedrals of France.
It's a volatile place, and these former warriors manage their trauma in different ways. But they are helped by women of courage and affection. Asher turns out to have a gift for making windows, and decides to hide the fact that he is Jewish so the devout Catholics who own the chateau will not expel him. As the secrets of the chateau’s residents become known one by one, they experience more heated conflict and greater challenges. And as Asher kindles his talents for glasswork, his recovery will lead the way for them all.
Stephen P. Kiernan has won numerous awards, including the Brechner Center’s Freedom of Information Award, the Scripps Howard Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment, and the George Polk Award. He is the author of two previous novels, The Curiosity and The Hummingbird, and two nonfiction books. He lives in Vermont with his two sons.
Megan Mayhew Bergman is the author of Almost Famous Women and Birds of a Lesser Paradise. Her short fiction has appeared in two volumes of The Best American Short Stories and on NPR’s Selected Shorts. She has written columns on climate change and the natural world for The Guardian and The Paris Review. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Tin House, Ploughshares, Oxford American, Orion, and elsewhere. She teaches literature and environmental writing at Middlebury College, where she also serves as director of the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference. She lives on a small farm in Vermont.
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