Humanities lecture brings Seattle novelist to town

Laurie Frankel set to appear in Chimacum

Author Laurie Frankel

Author Laurie Frankel

CHIMACUM — The evening is wide open.

Laurie Frankel is a mom, Seattleite, baseball fan, maker of soup and a writer of three — going on four — novels about unexpected journeys of love and family. So she has stuff to talk about these days, and talk she will at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Chimacum High School auditorium.

Admission is free to see Frankel at the spacious hall at 91 West Valley Road, where the Jefferson County Library presents the annual Sara Huntingford Humanities Lecture.

The event, begun in 2001, honors Huntingford’s belief in the power and importance of a public library in an isolated rural place.

The latest novel of author Laurie Frankel, “This Is How It Always Is”

The latest novel of author Laurie Frankel, “This Is How It Always Is”

A mother and a teacher, she helped form the Jefferson County library district some 41 years ago.

Frankel, whom Seattle Met magazine has named one of the 50 most influential women in the Emerald City, has a way of writing about current issues — and not just the geopolitical ones.

Her debut novel, 2010’s “The Atlas of Love,” introduces a single mother who opts to tri-parent her child with two other women.

Then comes “Goodbye for Now,” in 2012, about a young Seattle couple who develop a computer program that allows people to email and video-chat with their deceased loved ones.

Frankel’s latest, “This Is How It Always Is,” brings us inside the home of parents whose youngest son wants to be a girl when s/he grows up. Mom and Dad keep this a secret, but only for a while.

The 2017 novel enjoyed radiant reviews, with critics hailing it for its empathy and humor. Reese Witherspoon, a promoter of reading as well as an actor and movie producer, made it one of her Reese’s Book Club selections.

In creating a novel, Frankel takes from her own life. Then she sets out into the wilds.

“Where a book takes off for me,” she said in a phone interview, “is when I have this idea I want to explore. I’m much more interested in asking questions than in giving answers” about a given idea. There’s nothing worse, Frankel said, than a lecture in book form or a story closed with a neat bow tie.

Now Frankel is in the final edits of her next novel. Titled “One Two Three,” it follows three sisters — teenagers and triplets — as they navigate their future in a small town with a dark past.

Information about the lecture and other activities at the Jefferson County Library, 620 Cedar Ave., Port Hadlock, awaits at JCLibrary.info and 360-385-6544.

________

Diane Urbani de la Paz, a former features editor for the Peninsula Daily News, is a freelance writer living in Port Townsend.

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