Asheville Native Guest on 'Bookwatch'
In an all-new episode of UNC-TV's statewide literary series, "North Carolina Bookwatch," premiering Sunday, Dec. 13, at 5 p.m., host D.G. Martin interviews Asheville native Marisha Pessl -- on stage -- from Lenoir Rhyne University's P.E. Monroe Auditorium in Hickory.
This special episode features a discussion of Pessl's 2006 novel, "Special Topics in Calamity Physics."
Marking another first for "North Carolina Bookwatch," this production, taped Oct. 9, as part of Lenoir-Rhyne University's Visiting Writer's Series "In Their Own Words," represents the first time UNC-TV's local literary series has been filmed outside of the UNC-TV studios in Research Triangle Park.
Featured novelist Marisha Pessl made her literary debut with "Special Topics in Calamity Physics," which The New York Times named a Notable Book of the Year and an Editor's Choice, while Time magazine listed the work as one of Publishing's Next Page Turners. Pessl's novel was also a nominee for a Quill Award and the Borders Original Voices Award for 2006. On occasion, Pessl writes reviews and editorials for The New York Times.
"Special Topics in Calamity Physics" features a precocious adolescent, Blue van Meer, and her widowed father, Gareth, a brilliant, charismatic professor. The two travel from college to college, driven by forces only revealed to Blue by the death of Hannah, a popular teacher at her school. The book is filled with literary references as well as illustrations by the author. The story also includes a murder mystery. For more "clues" about this novel, and a look at Pessl's drawings, visit http://www.calamityphysics.com/main.htm.
Pessl was born in Clarkston, Mich., to Klaus, an Austrian engineer for General Motors, and Anne, an American homemaker. Pessl's parents divorced when she was 3, and she moved to Asheville with her mother and sister. Pessl attended the Asheville School, a private, co-educational boarding school, from which she graduated in 1995. She attended Northwestern University for two years before transferring to Barnard College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in English literature. After college, she worked as a financial consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, while writing in her free time.
Pessl's long-awaited second novel, "Night Film," a psychological literary thriller about a New York filmmaker looking into an apparent suicide, is scheduled to be published in 2010. She is married to Nic Caiano, a hedge fund manager. They live in New York City.
For additional information about series guests and airdates, plus links to "North Carolina Bookwatch" on Facebook, visit www.unctv.org/ncbookwatch.
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