Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More from The Tender Bar Author

We were thrilled to learn recently of a forthcoming book from the author of one of our all-time favorites, The Tender Bar. JR Moehringer has signed with Hyperion to publish a historical novel based on the story of the infamous bank robber Willie Sutton, who robbed 100 banks between 1925 and 1950 without firing a single shot.

"I've been fascinated by Sutton since I was a boy," Moehringer said. "My grandfather used to talk with some amusement, and some awe, about Willie 'The Actor,' about his disguises, about his commitment to non-violence. He was the Gandhi of gangsters. He was also a lover, a reader, a thinker, and a social critic ahead of his time: he detested banks. He thought bankers were the root cause of everything wrong with society. No wonder he became such a folk hero." 

The Tender Bar, Moehringer's first book (2005), is a memoir that tells of his life being raised by a single mom in Manhasset, New York, and the group of guys at the local bar who provide the father figures in his life. It's a beautiful story, beautifully written, from the point of view of the journalist that Moehringer became -- he actually went back and interviewed the people from his past for the writing of this book. When Moehringer went on tour for the book's launch, he took his mother on tour with him -- I got to meet both of them when they came to Portland, and they were delightful.

Moehringer earned a BA in history from Yale University and then became a news assistant for The New York Times. He spent many years as a reporter and then bureau chief for the LA Times, earning a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. In 2009 he collaborated with Andre Agassi for the writing of Agassi's memoir, Open. Agassi contacted Moehringer after reading The Tender Bar and asked him to work with him.

Moehringer's as-yet-untitled novel is scheduled to be published sometime in the fall of 2012 -- we can't wait!!!

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