On Thursday, November 13, we were happy to welcome Michael Springate to the store, to launch his new novel The Beautiful West & The Beloved of God!
But first! The night began with a reading by Marianne Ackerman. It almost seemed like the author and playwright was back for an encore, having launched her latest project, Holy Fools + 2 Stories, at the bookstore a few weeks prior. She'd "never been an opening act" before, and read an excerpt from Holy Fools, in which her protagonist Peter decides to commit suicide and instead gets accused of murder.
Ackerman was the one who introduced Michael Springate, a writer who, after a long career in the theatre, has his first novel with The Beautiful West & The Beloved of God. The story follows the love of Elena, who represents the beautiful west, and Mahfouz, who's name is a direct translation of "beloved of God," tracing as it progresses the current of world history.
Springate read five excerpts (plus a bonus at the end!) to the audience, and many of his readings featured familial debates in which his well-crafted characters turned around the loaded topics of religion and politics. There was an immediacy to their conversations, but the broad scope of the subject matter ensured that the story transcended that intimacy.
At the end of the evening, Springate graciously thanked an audience full of family and friends for coming out to celebrate, and everyone left in high spirits!