US & Canada – October tour dates

By on 6-09-2009 in Background to the novels

I’m on the road in North America this October. If you live near one of these events, do come along – I promise an entertaining, unconventional and perhaps even surprising evening. Be there, or be forced to lie for years afterwards that you were.

Tues Oct 2 – BALTIMORE, MD

  • 7.00 PM – Enoch Pratt Library, 400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
  • Talk/Q&A/signing WITH SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS
  • Full details
     

    Wed Oct 3 – WASHINGTON, DC

  • 7.00 PM – Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001
  • Onstage conversation with NYT bestselling author Vaddey Ratner, followed by signing
  • Full details
     

    Thurs Oct 4 – COLUMBUS, OH

  • 7.30 PM – Thurber House event @ Columbus Museum of Art, 480 E. Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Talk/Q&A/signing
  • Full details
     

    Fri Oct 5 – MADISON, WI

  • 6.30 PM – A Room of One’s Own Bookstore, W. Gorham Street, Madison, WI 53703
  • Talk/Q&A/signing
  • Full details
     

    Sat Oct 6 – ATLANTA, GA

  • 2.00 PM – Georgia Center for the Book at DeKalb County Public Library, Toco Hill – Avis G. Williams Library, 1282 McConnell Drive, Decatur, GA 30033
  • Talk/Q&A/signing
  • Full details
     

  • 7.00 PM – Barnes & Noble, 2900 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
  • Talk/Q&A/signing
  • Full details
     

    Mon Oct 8 – MIAMI, FL

  • 8.00 PM – Books and Books Coral Gables, 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134
  • Talk/Q&A/signing
  • Full details
     

    Tues, Oct 9 – DALLAS, TX

  • 7.30 PM – Arts & Letters Live at Dallas Museum of Art, Horchow Auditorium, 717 North Harwood Street, Dallas, TX 75201
  • Talk/Q&A/signing
  • Full details

     

    Wed, Oct 10 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA

  • 7.00 PM – Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94118
  • Talk/Q&A/signing
  • Full details
     

    Thurs, Oct 11 – PORTLAND, OR

  • 7.00 PM – Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005
  • Talk/Q&A/signing
  • Full details
     

    Fri, Oct 12 – SPOKANE, WA

  • 1.00 PM – Spokane is Reading Program at The Garland Theater, 924 W Garland Ave, Spokane, WA 99201
  • Talk/Q&A/signing
  • Full details
     

  • 7.00 PM – Spokane is Reading Program at The Lincoln Center, Monroe Ballroom, 1316 North Lincoln Street, Spokane, WA 99201
  • Talk/Q&A/signing
  • Full details
     

    Sat, Oct 13 – GRAND RAPIDS, MI

  • 7.00 PM – Schuler Books & Music, 2660 28th Street SE, Rapids, MI 49512
  • Talk/Q&A/signing
  • Full details
     

    Mon, Oct 15 – Ann Arbor, MI

  • 7.00 PM – Nicola’s Books, 2513 Jackson Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
  • Talk/Q&A/signing
  • Full details
     

    Wed, Oct 17 – Vancouver International Writers Festival

  • 6.00 PM – ‘Happy Birthday, Doubleday’ at the Improv Centre
  • Reading & signing
  • Full details
     

    Thur, Oct 18 – Vancouver International Writers Festival

  • 8.00 PM – ‘An Intimate Evening (!) with Chris Cleave’ at Studio 1398
  • Talk, Q&A, signing
  • Full details
     

    Fri, Oct 19 – Vancouver International Writers Festival

  • 1.00 PM – ‘The Interviews’ at the Waterfront Theatre
  • On-stage interview, signing
  • Full details
     

    Tues, Oct 23 – Toronto, International Festival Of Authors, Harbourfront Centre

  • 8.00 PM – Fleck Dance Theatre
  • Reading & signing
  • Full details
     

    Wed, Oct 24 – Toronto, International Festival Of Authors, Harbourfront Centre

  • 8.00 PM – Fleck Dance Theatre
  • Reading & signing
  • Full details
     

    Sat, Oct 27 – Montreal

  • 2.00 PM, Westmount Public Library
  • Reading & signing
  • Full details
  • NZ tour dates

    By on 6-09-2009 in Background to the novels

    I’m delighted to be returning to New Zealand next week!

    As well as the Christchurch Writers’ Festival (see their website for more details), I’ll be doing a number of events around the country, details as below.

    Hope to see you there!

    Tuesday August 28 – AUCKLAND
    Time: 5.30pm – 7pm
    Location: Arcadia Bookshop, 26 Osborne Street, Newmarket
    Free event (bookings essential) wine and nibbles
    For more information contact Doris Mousdale on 09 522 5211 or email: hello@arcadiabookshop.co.nz

    Wednesday August 29 – NELSON
    Time: 12pm – 1pm
    Location: Elma Turner Library, 27 Halifax Street, Nelson
    Gold coin donation to Child Cancer Foundation
    For more information contact Stella Chrysostomou on 03 548 9992 or email info@pageandblackmore.co.nz

    Wednesday August 29 – WELLINGTON
    Time: 5.30pm – 7.30pm
    Location: Marsden Bookshop, 159 Karori Road, Karori
    Free event (bookings essential) wine and nibbles
    For more information contact Anna Hunt 04 476 8066 or email marsdenb@kauri.co.nz

    Thursday August 30 – WELLINGTON
    Win lunch with Chris Cleave customer competition
    Time: 12pm – 2pm
    For more information contact Tilly Lloyd 04 499 4245 or email books@unitybooks.co.nz

    Friday 30 & Saturday 31 August – CHRISTCHURCH
    Christchurch Writers’ Festival – various events – see details at chchwritersfest.co.nz/chris-cleave/

    Q&A for NEXT Magazine

    By on 6-09-2009 in Background to the novels

  • Why did you choose to set this novel in the world of professional sprint cycling?


  • I’m compelled to tell the hidden stories of people who live at the extremes of life, and there are few lives more extreme than those of professional athletes. I chose sprint cycling in particular for three reasons: One, because sprint cyclists have an irresistible psychology – in addition to being extremely explosive athletes they tend to be very smart and tactically aware, which makes them thrilling to write about. Two, because track cycling is such an aesthetically beautiful sport: the athletes are so honed and the velodrome is such a sculpted gladiatorial arena that the race scenes have a built-in poetry. And finally, because for so many of us the bicycle gave us our first taste of independence when we were little, which means that cycling stands for something free and exciting in a deep part of our psyche.

    (more…)

    First reactions to GOLD

    By on 6-09-2009 in Background to the novels

    Booksellers’ first reactions…

    “As with Little Bee, Chris Cleave has written a novel that encompasses love, compassion, and tragedy through which emerges the goodness of mankind and the importance of friendship. One reads the pages of Gold like they were racing Kate and Zoe on the track of the velodrome—fast, unstopping, breathing hard until the next page where you have to hold your breath to see who wins the heat….Emotionally stunning, brilliantly written…You will hold on for the ride.”
    —Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

    (more…)

    Pep Talk for Writers

    By on 6-09-2009 in Background to the novels

    Here is a message I wrote to all the 250,000 writers who are part of the NaNoWriMo writing community this November.

    Dear fellow writer,

    Delivering a novel in a month must be the most extreme challenge in writing.

    I can’t claim to have done it in a month, but I once drafted a novel in six weeks. That draft eventually became my first published book, Incendiary. There are three things you need to know about that. One, that the first draft was unpublishable. Two, that the obsession and the sleep deprivation drove me to a place of dubious mental stability which, in retrospect, we can all laugh about. And three, that I am more proud of those six weeks than of any other period in my life. It changed me. I was working in an attic room in Paris, living on coffee and nerves. I say “living” – in truth I was mutating. I crossed a Rubicon that they will have to drag my cold dead body back across.

    That’s what you’re doing, if you’re doing NaNoWriMo. You could have chosen to write a short story this month. You could have redecorated. You could have lounged on your couch and absorbed reality TV, formulating opinions about which of the nice young people ought to be your nation’s brand new idol. Instead you have crossed a line of no return. You have chosen to engage – and in many cases reengage – with a dangerous process that changes you.

    (more…)

    Fiction and reality

    By on 6-09-2009 in Background to the novels

    I was interested to read this blog post, using LITTLE BEE to provide some human background to the story about the US Senate’s decision not to pass the DREAM act, which the House passed in October.

    One proposal of the DREAM act is that the children of illegal immigrants should have a potential pathway to citizenship. This interests me because such children are otherwise condemned to a life of illegality as a result of no choice that they have made, which poses an interesting moral question for the rest of society.

    Something I try to do in my fiction is to take the time to explore the human consequences of political decision-making, which I think is something that the news media would generally like to do, but rarely has the time and resource to achieve.

    I’m similarly attracted to the work of American writers such as Dave Eggers, Philipp Meyer, Adam Haslett and Cara Hoffman who are writing about people in the real world that political and economic forces are shaping.