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  • Writers in The Loft Presents: J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN

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    July 23, 2018
    WRITERS IN THE LOFT presents
    New York Times bestselling author of Maine

    with her national bestseller

    One of 2017’s “Best Books” according to
    New York Times, Washington Post, and Harper’s Bazaar

    Tuesday, July 24, 7pm

    “All of her books are worth reading, but Sullivan’s latest, about the divergent life paths of two Irish immigrant sisters, may be her very best.”Anna Quindlen

    “I hope to read another novel as strong and wise and beautiful and heartbreaking as J. Courtney Sullivan’s SAINTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS this year, but I’m not sure I will.”Richard Russo

    Ticket package includes book, bar beverage, author presentation, Q+A, and author meet-and-greet/signing

    What: On Tuesday, July 24, Writers in the Loft hosts bestselling author J. Courtney Sullivan with SAINTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS, just out in paperback. Her latest novel, heralded in the press and among writers and readers, is a sweeping, unforgettable novel about the hope, sacrifice, and love between two sisters. Nora and Theresa Flynn journey together from Ireland to America as young women. Nora is the responsible one, while Theresa is gregarious, thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. “From there, the lives of these young women take off in vastly different directions, their roles in their family and in American society, their interests and loyalties, flip just as all our lives’ do,” said Margaret Talcott, Producer of Writers in the Loft. “At once a history of Boston and its growing communities, and a very, very personal story of womanhood the American way (even through the turbulent 1960s), SAINTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS enthralled me as it has so many others. Addressing the full range of life, from the issues of teens to grandparents’, it is a book for all ages and all generations. I look forward to discussing the ins-and-outs with the author and her readers,” added Talcott, who will moderate the hour-long event in the Loft.  

    When/Where:         Tuesday, July 24 – 7pm
                                      The Music Hall Loft
                        131 Congress Street
                             Portsmouth, NH 03801

    Tickets: The ticket package for Writers in the Loft: J. Courtney Sullivan on Tuesday, July 24, at 7pm, is $31 ($29 for members). In addition to a reserved seat, the package includes a copy of SAINTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS ($16.95, paperback), a bar beverage, author presentation, Q+A, and book signing meet-and-greet. Packages can be purchased online at TheMusicHall.org, over the phone at 603.436.2400, or in person at the B2W Box Office at the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street.

    About the Author: J. Courtney Sullivan is the New York Times best-selling author of the novels The Engagements, Maine, and Commencement. Maine was named a 2011 Time magazine “Best Book of the Year” and a Washington Post “Notable Book.” The Engagements was one of People Magazine’s “Top Ten Books of 2013” and an Irish Times “Best Book of the Year,” and has been translated into seventeen languages. Ms. Sullivan has contributed to The New York Times Book Review, the Chicago Tribune, New York magazine, Elle, Glamour, Allure, Real Simple, and O: The Oprah Magazine, among many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

    For further information, or to request an author interview, please contact: Margaret Talcott, Producer, The Music Hall, at mtalcott@themusichall.org or Patricia Lynch, Executive Producer, at plynch@themusichall.org.

    For images, please see:

    About Writers in the Loft
    Akin to The Music Hall’s anchor literary series, Writers on a New England Stage, Writers in the Loft features bestselling authors in a smaller, more intimate space. The series brings audiences today’s top authors, the best of fiction and nonfiction, and award-winners across categories. The evening package includes a reserved seat and bar beverage, author presentation and/or Q+A, a copy of the book, and a meet-and-greet book signing with the featured writer.

    Series Sponsor:  RMC Research Corporation
    Season Sponsors:  Carey & Giampa Realtors; Portwalk Place; The River House restaurant
    Contributing Partner:  The University of New Hampshire


    “Reminiscent of both Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn and Matthew Thomas’s We Are Not Ourselves … All of Sullivan’s characters leap off the page. You don’t read this book; you breathe it.” Janet Maslin, “Times Critics’ Top Books of 2017,” The New York Times

    “Fabulous and smart.” Emma Straub, The New York Times Book Review

    “Moving… Eloquently testifies to the durability of the fabric of family… Touched with… warmth, kindness and gentle wisdom.” Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal

    “A breathtaking literary ode to life, change, and the unbreakable bonds of family.” —Redbook

    “Carefully plotted… Sullivan succeeds in creating a believably complicated, clannish Irish-American family… Engrossing.” Suzanne Berne, The New York Times

    “An engrossing family drama… Sullivan’s profound understanding of her characters and the Irish-Catholic culture that defines them illuminates every scene.” Kim Hubbard, People Magazine

    “This year’s best book about family… Elegant… Captivating… Deft and insightful… A quiet masterpiece…impressive. Saints for All Occasions is so unassuming that its artistry looks practically invisible. In a simple style that never commits a flutter of extravagance, Sullivan draws us into the lives of the Raffertys, and in the rare miracle of fiction makes us care about them like they were our own family.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

    “A blockbuster…An engrossing family drama with feisty humor and transformative tough love.” —Elle

    “I hope to read another novel as strong and wise and beautiful and heartbreaking as J. Courtney Sullivan’s Saints for All Occasions this year, but I’m not sure I will.” Richard Russo

    “All of her books are worth reading, but Sullivan’s latest, about the divergent life paths of two Irish immigrant sisters, may be her very best.”Anna Quindlen


    “Ah, family. Isn’t it satisfying to leave your own briefly behind to drop in on another—and see how thoroughly they bungle it all up? This is the pleasure of Maine, J. Courtney Sullivan’s second novel, which delves into the secrets and simmering emotions of one dysfunctional family over the course of a single summer month. . . . The dialogue sizzles as the tension between the women’s love and anger toward one another tightens. . . . You don’t want the novel to end.” —Lily King, The New York Times Book Review

    “[A] ruthless and tender novel about the way love can sometimes redeem even the most contentious of families. Like all first-rate comic fiction, Maine uses humor to examine the truths of the heart, in New England and far beyond.” —The Washington Post Book World
    “Sullivan beguiles us again. . . . Crackling-smart.” —Elle  

    “By the time you’re through with Maine, you’ll be craving a lobster roll and a trip to Kennebunkport.” —The Oregonian

    “Sullivan presents women who may be stubborn and difficult, but she does so with such compassion and humor that we, too, end up rooting for them.” —Chicago Tribune

    “A gem. . . . Sullivan gives us three sunny, alcoholic acres of Maine coastline and three generations of Kelleher women.” —Time

    “I have never stayed at this cottage in Maine, or any cottage in Maine, but no matter: I now feel I know what it’s like being in a family that comes to the same place summer after summer, unpacking their familiar longings, slights, shorthand conversation, and ways of being together. J. Courtney Sullivan’s Maine is evocative, funny, close-quartered, and highly appealing.” Meg Wolitzer, author of The Uncoupling

    “Gives us . . . characters we can care about, despite their sometimes too-familiar flaws.” —USA Today

    Maine’s brisk storytelling and the unfurling of its central mystery . . . sweep readers along with gratifying sink-into-your-deck-chair ease.” —Entertainment Weekly

    “A powerful novel about the ties that bind families tight, no matter how dysfunctional. Sullivan has created in the Kelleher women a cast of flawed but lovable characters so real, with their shared history of guilt and heartache and secret resentments, that I’m sure I’ll be thinking about them for a long time to come.” —Amy Greene, author of Bloodroot

    “Curl up with this wry, absorbing novel and eavesdrop on a summer’s worth of secrets, feuds, and misunderstandings.” Parade magazine

    “Sullivan’s smarts shed light on topics all families deal with, but her tasteful approach on the tough ones (particularly modern-day religious issues) shine through. The cast of quirky characters will have you laughing out loud and aching for their regrets in the same chapter, pining for more pages when it comes to an end.” —MarieClaire.com

    About The Music Hall
    The Music Hall is an active and vital cultural center in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, dedicated to the advancement of the tri-state region’s cultural life through the performing arts, literature, and education. A community-supported 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, it presents entertainment from around the world and around the corner—the greatest musicians, writers, and performers of the time, extraordinary films, and award-winning documentaries. Its 600 yearly events delight an annual audience of 130,000 (including 20,000 children) in two theaters—an 1878 Victorian-era Historic Theater and the modern and intimate Loft space. The Music Hall was recently named Editors’ Choice “Best All-Around Entertainment” by Yankee Magazine and is a designated “American Treasure for the Arts.” Through innovative community partnerships, it subsidizes thousands of tickets each year to make the arts accessible to all. The Music Hall is community-oriented and committed to helping the Seacoast region flourish.  

    Web: www.TheMusicHall.org | Twitter: @MusicHall | Facebook: /musichall | YouTube: /musichallnh

    “The crown jewel of Portsmouth’s cultural scene” - Yankee Magazine

    “The beating cultural heart of New Hampshire's seacoast” - Boston Globe
    Margaret Talcott, Producer