I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Decatur Branch of the Dekalb County Library last night to hear Susan Vreeland read selections from her novels at an event sponsored by the Georgia Center for the Book. She is a wonderful reader. Not all writers are. She is a retired English teacher — a 30-year veteran of the classroom. When she signed my books, I told her we had that in common, and she said, “Good for you!” She encouraged me to check out the teacher’s guides she wrote for her novels at her website. After I left, I remembered that her books were published under the aegis of Penguin-Putnam. I should have mentioned the Beowulf teacher’s guide I wrote. I hate when I get tongue-tied and stupid around authors.
I reviewed her bestseller Girl in Hyacinth Blue not long ago, and I am really looking forward to Life Studies, a collection of short stories in which Vreeland speculates over “[w]hat else went on in great artists’ lives beside their painting [and] [w]hat goes on in ours as a result of art?”