Join us for a new edition of Novel Affair
In celebration of the 10th annual Novel Affair, enjoy the opportunity to dine with two or more of the following featured guests
KAT FALLS & ROBERT FALLS
Novelist Kat Falls captivates her audience with fast-paced, action-packed thrillers. In Dark Life and its sequel, Riptide, Falls takes her middle school-aged readers into science fiction adventure under the sea. Inhuman, a dystopian romance for teens, is the tale of a devastating biological disaster. Falls teaches screenwriting at Northwestern University and lives in Evanston with her husband and three children, who are critically influential in her creative process. katfalls.com
The celebrated Goodman Theatre artistic director, a 2015 inductee into the Theater Hall of Fame, has earned a powerhouse reputation for his relentless pursuit of theatre that pushes the envelope. His Broadway productions of “Death of a Salesman” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” won seven Tony Awards. No less significant is his most recent work, the epic “2666,” Roberto Bolaño’s magnum opus, which Falls adapted and directed. He is married to Kat Falls. Robert Falls (interview)
Location: Private Home, Lake Forest – Unappreciative of stateliness and symmetry, Frank Lloyd Wright may have once disparaged this east Lake Forest house as mere “shoebox,” but those who value English formality over Prairie openness will feel right at home in this Stanley Anderson-designed 1929 Lannon stone Georgian.
JANE HAMILTON, ANNE LECLAIRE, & GAIL TSUKIYAMA
Jane Hamilton is a literary star who lives on a farm in Wisconsin; she and her books are beloved. Her first novel, The Book of Ruth, won the PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award, and her follow-up, A Map of the World, was an international bestseller. Both were blessed by Oprah. Hamilton delivers a tender coming-of-age story in her most recent novel, The Excellent Lombards. janehamiltonbooks.com
Bestselling author of short stories and novels, teacher of the creative process, former broadcaster and Boston Globe correspondent, Anne LeClaire is the author of eight novels, including Leaving Eden and Entering Normal, which probe the interior lives of women and their resilience, as well as a memoir about her formal practice of silence. A licensed pilot and yoga student, LeClaire lives on Cape Cod. anneleclaire.com
In seven novels—from her debut, Women of the Silk, which examines the lives of Chinese silk workers a century ago, to her latest book, A Hundred Flowers, the gripping story of a family at the start of the Cultural Revolution—bestselling author Gail Tsukiyama transports her readers across eras and cultures with her distinctive language of storytelling marked by lyricism and grace. Gail Tsukiyama (interview)
Location: Private Home, Lake Forest – Two boldface names in estate design in the early 20th century were architect Charles Coolidge and renowned landscape designer Jens Jensen. Designer of Stanford University and the Art Institute of Chicago, Coolidge brought the classic Beaux Arts stateliness of the Art Institute to his design for the 1912 Rumsey estate, where meticulous restoration has enriched this splendid English Renaissance manor and its Jensen-designed landscape.
THOMAS H. COOK & JACQUELYN MITCHARD
The author of nearly two dozen critically acclaimed crime novels, Alabama-born, New York-based Thomas H. Cook won the prestigious Edgar Award for his breakout novel The Chatham School Affair. With his 2014 Sandrine’s Case, an Edgar Award nominee for best novel, Cook earned praise from the New York Times Book Review for “the clarity of his prose and the sheer drive of his storytelling.” Thomas H. Cook (interview)
The award-winning author of twelve novels as well as numerous books for children and young adults, Jacquelyn Mitchard is best known for her Oprah-selected, New York Times #1 bestselling The Deep End of the Ocean, which was made into a feature film. Mitchard’s recently published Two If By Sea is “a propulsive literary page-turner” in which a boy’s psychic power over animals propels a heartfelt story of courage and devotion. jacquelynmitchard.com
Location: Private Home, Lake Forest – The Georgian tradition is grandly interpreted by architect Frederick Perkins in the 1916 Finley Barrell House, where Edwardian formality is rendered with lavish architectural detail. The distinctive Art Nouveau entry marquee, vaulted-ceiling foyer with elaborate marble carving, cherry-paneled living room with richly carved cornices and Jacobean fireplace—all reflect stunning Beaux Arts exuberance.
LISA GENOVA & CHARLES FINCH
Lisa Genova’s self-description: “I’m a Harvard-trained neuroscientist, a Meisner-trained actress, and an entirely untrained writer.” Whose four prize-winning novels spent over 59 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Having explored Alzheimer’s disease in Still Alice, made into an Academy Award-winning film, and autism in Love Anthony, Genova documents a family living with Huntington’s Disease in her most recent novel, Inside the O’Briens. lisagenova.com
Chicago-based author and literary critic Charles Finch, whose first novel, A Beautiful Blue Death, was nominated for an Agatha Award, has garnered critical and popular acclaim for his sophisticated Victorian-era mystery series featuring gentleman detective Charles Lenox. Finch’s most recent book, The Last Enchantments, draws on the author’s Yale and Oxford experiences in an ode to youth, idealism, and love. Charles Finch (interview)
Location: Private Home, Lake Forest – The exquisitely proportioned 1928 French Normandy, designed by architect Stanley Anderson, is distinguished by its tower on the wall that surrounds it, inviting center courtyard, wood-beamed great hall, and intimate dining room, singularly enhanced by a collection of luminous blanc de Chine porcelain.
ALEKSANDAR HEMON & CASEY SHERMAN
Described by Chicago Magazine as “Bosnian refugee turned literary star,” the Sarajevo-born, Chicago-based fiction writer, essayist, and critic is the author of the critically acclaimed The Lazarus Project (2008), a contributing writer at The New Yorker, a National Book Award finalist, and a winner of the MacArthur “genius” grant. His most recent work is the comic novel The Making of Zombie Wars. aleksandarhemon.com
Casey Sherman’s 2009 bestseller The Finest Hours, the story of a daring Coast Guard rescue mission off Cape Cod, was adapted into the 2016 Disney film starring Casey Affleck and Chris Pine. The Boston author, journalist, and screenwriter, known for his re-investigation of his aunt’s murder, which became the crime thriller A Rose for Mary: The Real Hunt for the Boston Strangler, is also the author of Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph Over Tragedy, a drama about the Boston Marathon bombings. Casey Sherman (interview)
Location: Private Home, Lake Bluff – In Walter Frazier’s 1925 design of the Linn House, the architect combines the elegance of the French manor house—hand-painted murals on the ceiling of an open-beam great room—with the rusticity of the Norman farmhouse, to sublime effect. The historic buildings of the exquisite lakefront property, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, are complemented by a contemporary artist’s studio.
INDIRA JOHNSON & SABINA OTT
In 1966 Indira Johnson moved to Chicago from India to study at the School of the Art Institute. In 2013 Johnson was named “Chicagoan of the Year” by Chicago Magazine for her work as a sculptor, cultural worker, peace activist, and educator. Grounded in civic engagement, her significant public art practice includes “Ten Thousand Ripples” (2013), which entailed installing one hundred Buddha heads in Chicago neighborhoods. indirajohnson.com
Sabina Ott, honored in 2015 as “The Chicagoan of the Year in Art” by the Chicago Tribune and also awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, commands a central role in the art world for her work as a visual artist and educator. She is represented in the collections of the Whitney Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and, closer to home, her installation “Who Cares for the Sky?” is currently on view at the Hyde Park Art Center. sabinaott.com
Location: Private Home, Lake Forest – Featured in Architectural Digest’s “Editors Select Properties Around the World,” this modern interpretation of a Palladian villa includes a dramatic dome-ceilinged living room, interior marble columns, and curvilinear design elements in a layering of free-flowing, light-filled spaces.