On Wednesday, Jan 25, at 2 p.m., I will be giving a talk at the Jacob Edwards Library in Southbridge, MA.
The suburbs are safe. They’re clean and orderly and civil. At least, that’s what my parents used to tell me whenever I asked why we lived there, instead of somewhere exotic and exciting, like Greenwich Village or the Left Bank. Long maligned for their boredom, conformity, and status-consciousness, the subdivisions and planned communities that sprouted during the Baby Boom years continued to be a big draw for one main reason – their promise of providing a safe haven from the perilous cities they surround. It was better to endure the boredom of a pot-luck dinner party than suffer a mugging.
Or so I was told. For me, the suburbs soon became something quite different than the sanctuaries described by my parents. As I grew older, I came to see them as places of shadowy menace, where the flaws, temptations and transgressions of humanity are just as prevalent as anywhere else. The difference between them and the inner city isn’t that people behave better beyond the beltway. They’re just better at hiding the wrong they do. Given the evolution of my thinking about the suburbs, it was only natural that I set the crimes featured in novels such as Security, Human Capital and the forthcoming Locust Lane on their leafy, deceptively sedate cul-de-sacs and lanes.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2023 - 7:00PM ET
279 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446-2908
For fans of Mystic River by Dennis Lehane and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Stephen Amidon’s Locust Lane is a taut and utterly propulsive story about the search for justice and the fault lines of power and influence in a seemingly idyllic town. Can anyone be trusted?
Read on to learn more as we chat with Stephen about his new release, along with writing, book recommendations, and more!
Hi, Stephen! Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
I was born in suburban Chicago and raised in New Jersey and Maryland. After graduating from college, I moved to London, where I married a redhaired Cornish girl. Together, we had four children and threw lots of dinner parties. I wrote my first four novels while in the UK, as well as a number of film and TV scripts. I also worked as a film critic for the Financial Times and the Sunday Times (UK). I moved back to the US in 1999 and wrote my next seven books, two of which – Human Capital and Security – have been made into films. I am also the co-screenwriter of The Leisure Seeker, starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland. I am currently putting the finishing touches on my tenth novel. I divide my time between Massachusetts and Italy.
When did you first discover your love of writing?
I was twelve, maybe thirteen. My teacher had assigned us a short story. Mine concerned two men – haggard, exhausted, lonely, lost – wandering some blasted post-apocalyptic landscape. They have been walking for days. Unbeknownst to either, their paths take them right toward each other. On and on they walk, drawing closer and closer together. What will they say when they met? Will they be welcoming? Hostile? And then they finally come together… and simply pass each other by, without a word, without so much as a nod of acknowledgement. The story came quickly and naturally; the ending seemed to arrive out of nowhere. My teacher, family and classmates seemed impressed. I was hooked, addicted to storytelling. I’ve never given a thought to doing anything else since.
Read more here.
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