Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Niffenegger Novel Coming

Fans of The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger -- and judging by our sales of the book there are an awful lot of them in Portland -- finally have a new novel to look forward to. Scribner (a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster) recently signed Niffenegger's newest novel, Her Fearful Symmetry, and publication is scheduled for the end of September 2009. (A movie based on The Time Traveler's Wife is scheduled for release in February 2010.)

Here is the author describing her forthcoming novel: "The novel concerns a pair of mirror-image twins, Julia and Valentina Poole. The twins are young, sheltered American girls who inherit a flat on the edge of Highgate Cemetery in London, bequeathed to them by their recently deceased aunt. Julia and Valentina are inseparable, and function almost as one being, although in temperament they are opposites. As the story begins, they arrive in London to live in their aunt's apartment. Their presence disrupts the lives of their upstairs and downstairs neighbors. Martin Wells is a translator who never leaves his apartment and struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Robert Fanshaw works as a guide in Highgate Cemetery and is devoted to all things associated with death. Julia takes it upon herself to "cure" Martin; Robert falls in love with Valentina and begins to pry her away from her twin. Valentina starts to crave autonomy. Julia becomes more demanding and possessive. Things get out of control, as you might imagine."

The author, a visual artist who is also a faculty member at Columbia College Chicago, Center for Book and Paper Arts, has also written two graphic novels, or "novels in pictures," as she refers to them: Three Incestuous Sisters and The Adventuress. According to Niffenegger, "The thing that unites all my work is narrative. I'm interested in telling stories, and I'm interested in creating a world that's recognizable to us as ours, but is filled with strangeness and slight changes in the rules of the universe."

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