How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life

THU, APR 27, 2006 (38:23)

Mameve Medwed discusses her new novel, a witty tale about love, loss, friendship, and self-discovery set in the appealingly absurd world of antiques and the people who buy, sell, and covet them. Thirty-three-year-old Abigail Randolph is having a tough time. Her beloved mother has recently died in an earthquake, the man she loves has left her for another woman, and the antiques business she started with her now ex-boyfriend is not doing so well. A Harvard dropout who has good-naturedly suffered through a lot of disappointments, Abby decides to put her trust in things that can’t let her down: old books, chipped china, moth-eaten tablecloths, and the discarded and dented bits of other people’s lives. But other people’s lives, and not just their stuff, manage to intrude on her own life in surprising ways. Medwed briskly depicts the odd world of flea markets and tag sales, and makes of Abby’s arduous liberation (not unlike the invalid Browning’s), an adventure to which Jane Austen might have raised a celebratory glass of port.

+ BIO: Mameve Medwed

Mameve Medwed is the author of five novels, Mail, Host Family, The End of an Error, How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life (2007 Massachusetts Book Award Honors in Fiction), and Of Men and Their Mothers (pub date April 22, 2008). Her short stories, essays, and book reviews have appeared in, among others, Yankee, Redbook, Playgirl, The Boston Globe, Ascent, The Missouri Review, Confrontation, The Readerville Journal, Newsday and The Washington Post. She has taught fiction writing for many years at The Cambridge Center for Adult Education, has been a mentor in the writing program at Lesley University, read papers for the English Department at Simmons College and has taken part in writing festivals across the country, serving on panels and teaching seminars. She has been interviewed on Maine Public Radio, The Voice of America and other radio and TV programs and has been profiled in many newspapers.

Boston Athenaeum
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