Concord, Massachusetts

Two weeks of talks, readings, and discussions celebrating the written and the spoken word.

Jennifer Haigh

Events: Breakfast with the Authors (Tickets $20)

Book: The Condition

Visit Author's Website

Jennifer Haigh is the author of the New York Times bestseller Baker Towers, winner of the 2006 PEN/L. L. Winship Award for outstanding book by a New England author, and Mrs. Kimble, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction and was a finalist for the book Sense Book of the Year. Both novels were number one Book Sense Picks. Her fiction has appeared in Granta, Ploughshares, and Good Housekeeping.

The Condition, Jennifer Haigh’s much anticipated third novel, tells the story of the McKotches, a proper New England family that comes apart during one fateful summer. The year is 1976, and the family — Frank McKotch, an eminent scientist; his pedigreed wife Paulette; and their three beautiful children — has embarked on its annual vacation at the Captain’s House, the grand old family retreat on Cape Cod.

One day on the beach, Frank is struck by an image he cannot forget: his thirteen-year-old daughter, Gwen, strangely infantile in her child-sized bikini, standing a full head shorter than her younger cousin Charlotte. At that moment he knows a truth that he can never again unknow — something is terribly wrong with his only daughter. The McKotch family will never be the same.

Compassionate yet unflinchingly honest, witty, and almost painfully astute, The Condition explores the power of family mythologies — the self-delusions, denials, and inescapable truths that forever bind fathers and mothers and siblings.