Robert Goolrick is best known for his recent novels “A Reliable Wife” and “Heading out to Wonderful,” and he also published “The End of the World as We Know It,” an insightful memoir.
Goolrick is among three writers scheduled to talk at this year’s Books in Bloom, an author event hosted by Eagle Valley Library District on May 18 in Beaver Creek. Joining him will be Denver-based author Peter Heller (“The Dog Stars”) and Laura Moriarty (“The Chaperone”).
“I was born in a small university town in Virginia, a town in which, besides teaching, the chief preoccupations were drinking bourbon and telling complex anecdotes, stories about people who lived down the road, stories about ancestors who had died a hundred years before,” Goolrick said.
The author attended Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and then lived in Europe for several years, where he initially considered acting and painting. He wrote an early novel, moved to New York and ended up working in advertising. “I was fired in my early 50s, the way people are in advertising. I tried to figure out what to do with the rest of my life, and I came back around to the pastime that had filled the days and nights of my childhood: telling complex anecdotes about the living and the dead,” Goolrick said. “I think, when we read, we relish and devour remarkable voices, but these are, in the end, stories we remember.”
He published “A Reliable Wife” in 2009, which went on to spend 32 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list. Filled with unforgettable characters and shimmering with color and atmosphere, “A Reliable Wife” is an enthralling tale of love and madness, of longing and murder. “Heading out to Wonderful” came out last year. It is a suspenseful novel of obsession and love gone terribly wrong in a place where once upon a time such things could happen. It is the summer of 1948 when stranger Charlie Beale shows up in the small town of Brownsburg, Va. Finding work at the local butcher shop, Charlie befriends the owner and his family, including the owner’s 5-year-old son, Sam, with whom he develops a special friendship. Charlie gradually meets all the townsfolk, including Boaty Glass, Brownsburg’s wealthiest citizen, and most significantly, Boaty’s beautiful teenage bride, Sylvan. Charlie’s attraction to Sylvan becomes an all-consuming passion that threatens to destroy everything and everyone in its path.
Books in Bloom will take place May 18 at The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Books in Bloom is a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the writer’s mind, chat with these best-selling 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. Tickets are $50. Buy your ticket online at www.booksinbloom.cvlsites.org or call the Avon Public Library (970-949-6797) or Eagle Public Library (970-328-8800).