Bestselling author Laura Moriarty attended the University of Kansas, first earning a degree in social work, then another in writing. In an interview with the University of Kansas, where Moriarty is an assistant professor in the English department, she explained: "I started writing after I got my degree in social work, when I was a fifth year exchange student at the University of Malta. It's a long story . . . but basically, I tried to push myself to be other things for a long time. I tried to be a doctor, and then a social worker. I wanted to do something that could help people, and writing seemed self-indulgent. It probably is, but it's what I love to do and what I'm good at, and after a while, I got tired of suppressing the desire to write."
Her readers couldn't be more delighted that she never suppressed that desire: Moriarty's latest novel, "The Chaperone," was released last year and was a New York Times bestseller and the USA Today No. 1 Hot Fiction Pick for the summer. "The Chaperone" is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned the irreverent silent film star Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that changed them both.
Moriarty has declared her profound love of Kansas, and particularly Lawrence, where she lives and where she attended university. Kansas itself often becomes a central character in each of her books, and "The Chaperone" is no exception, in which Kansas is the unlikely origin of both of her protagonists.
"I write literary novels that focus on the stories of women of varying economic classes and ages," Moriarty said. "My first novel, 'The Center of Everything,' is a coming-of-age story set in Kansas during the Reagan years. From the start, I set out to write a novel of female adolescence that focused on intellectual and emotional growth, and to keep the first-person voice engaging and also realistic. My subsequent protagonists have been adults, but they also have stories of struggle and change. I like to write about flawed human beings with ordinary lives who are forced by circumstance or their own unquiet minds to reconsider long-held beliefs."
Laura Moriarty's books include "The Center of Everything," "The Rest of Her Life," "While I'm Falling," and "The Chaperone." She is among three writers scheduled to appear at this year's Books in Bloom, a spring gathering for book lovers presented by the Eagle Valley Library District. The other authors include New York Times bestselling author Robert Goolrick ("A Reliable Wife," "Heading out to Wonderful," and "The End of the World as We Know It"), and Denver-based author Peter Heller ("Hell or High Water," "The Whale Warriors," "Kook," and "The Dog Stars").
Books in Bloom is a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the writer's mind, chat with these bestselling authors, and mingle with fellow book lovers in a beautiful mountain setting. Each author will present individually. There will be appetizers and refreshments by Grouse Mountain Grill, a cash bar, and books available for purchase courtesy of The Bookworm of Edwards. Call the Avon Public Library for more information at 970-949-6797.