Jonathan Strong and Sebastian Stuart, More Light and Dead by Any Other Name

More Light is a musical fantasia, in major and minor keys, of the generations at a crossroads and how the stories within our stories weave about us as we grow and change and remember. Iva Sturtevant, a soprano of some repute in provincial European opera houses, has returned to her childhood home to tend her ailing parents. Iva's brother, Leo Sturtevant, who has never left Josephine, Illinois, has recently been dismissed from his social service job, suspected of inappropriate behavior. Now, awaiting the inevitable disappearance of the oldest generation, Iva entertains Leo with tales from her obscure romantic operas, and Leo entices his big sister to read an old 1960s paperback about the world's last heterosexual, a novel dear to him for its mirror image of his own plight in a tiny rural town. This old novel even inspires Leo to write something himself, in secret, a mystery story about twin boys, one of them accused of a violent crime.

Hunting the Hudson River valley for cast-off treasures is usually low-stress for protagonist of Dead by Any Other Name, Janet Petrocelli, a former shrink who now owns a used-stuff shop. But her insatiable curiosity kicks in when she gets a call from Natasha Wolfson, a high-strung singer and songwriter. The girl is desperate to unload her funky jewelry for a little fast cash so she can move to Los Angeles--and escape some serious trouble. Hours after meeting with Janet, the tormented rising star allegedly leaps to her death. Suspecting foul play, Janet noses into Natasha's life and gets drawn into an eccentric enclave ruled by the rich and infamous. From a hotbed of corruption at the New York State capital to an exotic pleasure house hidden deep in the Catskills, Janet's obsession with the case leads her closer to the shocking truth.

Jonathan Strong teaches fiction writing at Tufts University and the Bread Loaf School of English. He has also taught at Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Wellesley College. He has received the Rosenthal Award of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, two O. Henry awards, and two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. His fiction has appeared in Partisan Review, Esquire, Shenandoah, The Atlantic, TriQuarterly, and the Transatlantic Review, among others. His books include Consolation, Drawn from Life, and the forthcoming Hawkweed and Indian Paintbrush.

Sebastian Stuart is the author of plays, screenplays, political satire, and critically acclaimed novels, including The Mentor, 24-Karat Kids, and The Hour Between, which won the Ferro-Grumley Award and was an NPR Seasons Readings Selection.

Event date: 

Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Porter Square Shopping Center
25 White Street
02140 Cambridge
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ISBN: 9780738723174
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Midnight Ink - October 8th, 2011