Author Tatjana Soli to appear at Books in Bloom
VAIL CO, Colorado
In college, Tatjana Soli’s favorite writing professor’s advice to the class was simple: write what you would most like to read, and haven’t found.
“I lived in the books of Conrad, Hemingway, and Graham Greene,” Soli said. “I hated that all the big adventures in life starred marvelously complicated main characters who were all men. Why do women have to be defined only by their relationships as girlfriends, wives, mothers?”
Soli is among three writers scheduled to appear at this year’s Books in Bloom, an author event presented by the Eagle Valley Library District on June 30 in Beaver Creek. The other authors include New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Haigh (“Mrs. Kimble,” “Baker Towers,” “The Condition” and “Faith”), and Boulder-based author Erin Blakemore (“The Heroine’s Bookshelf”).
Years after that advice from her professor, Soli was paging through a book titled “Requiem: The Vietnam Collection,” edited by Tim Page and Horst Faas. The book honors the photojournalists killed in Vietnam and Indochina. Soli was struck by one image in particular, that of photographer Dickey Chapelle, one of the first female war correspondents in Vietnam. That single encounter with a photo led Soli to her subject, and her debut novel, “The Lotus Eaters” (2011), was born.
“The Lotus Eaters” follows Helen Adams, an American female combat photographer in the Vietnam War, as she captures the wrenching chaos and finds herself torn between the love of two men. On a stifling day in 1975, the North Vietnamese army is poised to roll into Saigon. As the fall of the city begins, two lovers make their way through the streets to escape to a new life. Helen must take leave of a war she is addicted to and a devastated country she has come to love. Linh, the Vietnamese man who loves her, must grapple with his own conflicted loyalties of heart and homeland. As they race to leave, they play out a drama of devotion and betrayal that spins them back through 12 war-torn years, beginning in the splendor of Angkor Wat, with their mentor, larger-than-life war correspondent Sam Darrow, once Helen’s infuriating love and fiercest competitor, and Linh’s secret keeper, boss and truest friend.
The Lotus Eaters was named a New York Times Notable Book, L.A. Times Book Award Finalist, American Library Association 2011 Notable Book, and shortlisted for the UK’s James Tait Black Prize.Soli is an alumnus of Stanford University and Warren Wilson Program for Writers. Her second novel, “The Forgetting Tree,” will be released in September.
Books in Bloom is scheduled for June 30 at The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek, from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Each author will present her work individually. There will be appetizers served during the event, a cash bar, books available for purchase courtesy of The Bookworm of Edwards, and a book signing at the conclusion of the author presentations. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased via the event website: http://www.booksinbloom.cvlsites.org.
For more information on Books in Bloom, call the Avon Public Library at 970-949-6797.
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