Concord, Massachusetts

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

Askold Melnyczuk

Events: Literary Thriller Night

Book: House of Widows

Visit Author's Website

Askold Melnyczuk is the director of creative writing at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is the founding editor of Agni, the literary magazine published at Boston University, and is the author of two other novels, What Is Told and Ambassador of the Dead. He also teaches in the Graduate Writing Seminars at Bennington College.

His latest novel, The House of Widows, is a novel of intrigue that is played across decades, continents, and generations. After his father’s suicide, James kept three things — his father’s British military uniform, an oversize glass jar, and a letter written in a language he can’t read. Those items become the keys to unlocking the door on a past James never imagined while growing up amid the security of Boston’s north shore.

On an odyssey across England, Austria, and Ukraine, James meets his dying aunt Vera, the matriarch of a mysterious branch of the family. His mission puts him face-to-face with the international sex trade, a displaced Palestinian girl with streaked pink hair and attitude to spare, and a violent world in which he is ultimately implicated. From old America, new Europe, and the timeless Middle East, James learns what it means to live in the webbed world of the twenty-first century.