Wednesday, June 19, 2013

An Afternoon with Matthew Pearl

Tuesday, June 18, area librarians met with author Matthew Pearl for conversation about an author’s life and his Fiction Massachusetts Book Award winning title The Technologists.  This program was the first in a series of author discussions hosted by the Western Massachusetts Library Advocates (WMLA).  Informal programs with authors were requested on the WMLA priorities survey conducted over the winter.

Matthew shared some of his writing history, how he changes approaches from title to title to challenge himself, and the kinds of mysteries and historical questions that get him started developing an idea.   Participants were curious about the difficulty of incorporating historical figures into fiction, the multiple themes of The Technologists:  the competition between Harvard and MIT, the conflicts between classes and generations over who should have access to education and technology, the unbridled power of the rich and privileged.  Many of these themes recur in other Pearl titles.  The impact of the Civil War is a significant element in The Technologists and The Dante Club.

Congratulations to Faith Kaufmann, Dorothy Pam, Deb Kern, Lisa Wenner, Joan Powers, and Robin Shtulman – Winners of the door prizes which included copies of the Massachusetts Must Reads poster, The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow, The Last Dickens, and The Technologists.

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