Music for Wartime was selected as a finalist in the fiction category for the Society of Midland Authors award. The SMA mercifully announces the winner ahead of time rather than making us find out at the ceremony, and this year’s prize is going to a very deserving Joe Meno for Marvel and a Wonder; the other finalist was Bonnie Jo Campell’s Mothers, Tell Your Daughters (a collection I can’t recommend highly enough). The banquet is May 10th; tickets and more info here.
BookPage has kindly named Music for Wartime one of the top ten short story collections of 2015, writing “Makkai’ s novels… have established her as one of the most talented literary voices today… Now the acclaimed writer returns with Music for Wartime, an anticipated collection of short stories, several of which were inspired by the lives of her paternal grandparents.” Read the full list here!
The Hundred-Year House has been chosen as the Ragdale Reads Lake Forest book for fall, 2015. The citywide reading program includes several public events, including a tea at the legendary Ragdale artists’ colony (10:30 am, Thursday, October 15) and a reading and conversation (6 pm, Wednesday, October 21st, Lily Holt Reid Memorial Chapel, Lake Forest College). More details to come; information here.
Please join us on January 24th at The Book Cellar in Chicago for a reading featuring me, nonfiction winner Samantha Irby, and others. Official announcement and details are here.
The Hundred-Year House has been named a best book of 2014 by BookPage, Chicago Reader, PopSugar, Chicago Book Review, Read Her Like an Open Book, and Newcity (Top 5 Novels by Chicago Authors), among others, and was on The Quivering Pen’s list of the best first lines of the year, and on Slate’s list of the 22 Best Lines of 2014. The Chicago Tribune included it on their Notable Chicago Books list, and The Huffington Post included it on this list of “7 Books to Read While Basking in a Food Coma,” which is pretty awesome but probably won’t make it onto the back of the paperback.
I had this awesome dream where the New York Times Book Review said some really nice stuff about my novel, and nobody’s bothered waking me up yet, so it’s all good. From the review: “Makkai guides her twisty, maximalist story with impressive command and a natural ear for satire. Equal parts screwball comedy, intellectual sex farce, historical drama and old-fashioned ghost story, “The Hundred-Year House” sometimes feels like the precocious love child of John Irving’s “The Hotel New Hampshire” and a rousing game of Clue.” Read more here. Please don’t pinch me.
“The novel’s unique structure and its vibrant characters make for active, exciting reading. Questions raised in one section are answered in others, creating a reading experience that might have you flipping back and forth through the pages. Makkai’s sense of humor creates funny moments (the artists’ drinking escapades) that offset more dismal ones (Grace’s struggle with her husband). The Hundred-Year House is a puzzle, a plunge into a world of fascinating characters, and an examination of human relationships. It is not to be missed.” Full review here.
“Makkai’s book holds all of the elements of the perfect summer yarn: eccentric artists, a mysterious death, a locked attic door and a large estate that has secrets built into its walls… Think David Lodge meets Maggie Shipstead as Makkai’s suspenseful scene building and comic timing make “The Hundred-Year House” a captivating read.” Full review here.