The end is near in 2014 ‘Tale’ book

Posted: Saturday, October 19, 2013
By Matt Krueger mkrueger@batavianews.com

Her debut novel sold for a reported seven figures, a nearly unheard of feat in the publishing world. And that propelled Karen Thompson Walker into the national spotlight following its release last year.

Now the best-selling author is headed to Western New York.

The 33-year-old former editor at Simon & Schuster and her book “The Age of Miracles” have been selected for the 2014 “A Tale for Three Counties” community reading project.

The official announcement was made Friday night during a dinner with 2013 author Peter Troy at the Hoag Library in Albion.

“I’m thrilled and honored that ‘The Age of Miracles’ has been selected for ‘A Tale of Three Counties,’ and I can’t wait for my visit next year,” Walker said in an email statement. “I’m very happy to be part of this great community reading program.”

Walker will spend three days, March 20-22, in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties next year to discuss her book, a tale about what would happen if the earth’s rotation slowed. It’s told through the perspective of an 11-year-old girl named Julia.

“One of the things that really intrigued us about the book is that it is so different from all of the books we have had in the past,” said Leslie DeLooze, community services librarian at Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia. “It’s speculative fiction, set in the near future.

“I think this one is interesting because most books that are post-apocalyptic are after the crisis has happened. This one actually takes place during it.”

“The Age of Miracles” was a New York Times bestseller and was named one of the best books of 2012 by Booklist, BookPage, People Magazine, and Publishers Weekly.

Critics have provided mostly positive reviews, and readers have rated it with four out of five stars on both Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

USA Today reported that the book had been optioned for the movies just weeks after it hit bookstore shelves.

Set in a California suburb in the near future, “The Age of Miracles” was inspired by the 2004 tsunami that hit Indonesia. Thompson said she had read that the earthquake that triggered the tsunami was so powerful it affected the rotation of the earth. Granted, the day was shortened by a fraction of a second, but it sparked an idea.

Plenty of research later, “The Age of Miracles” took shape.

In the book, the days get longer, first addressed by scientists after nearly an hour had been added to the day. This, of course, creates panic as life on earth is dramatically altered.

“The whole book is really about what people’s responses are to this,” DeLooze said. “That whole what-if scenario is fascinating. How would you react? What would happen?”

As with previous “Tale” authors, Walker will discuss her book at luncheons throughout the three counties. There will also be a book review writing contest, where six winners will have a special meeting with the author.

Those who attend the discussions will have the chance to ask questions of the author. DeLooze already has some questions in mind.

“I’m more interested in hearing what she thinks happens after this story,” she said. “I’m also interested in hearing what she’s going to do next. It is going to be something like this or something different?”

Copies of the book are now for sale at libraries and bookstores throughout Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

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Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation

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