British author Joe Treasure will read from his latest novel, The Book of Air, at the Newport Public Library on Monday, September 16 at 2:00 p.m.
Infected with an airborne virus with a uniquely unsettling symptom, property developer Jason escapes London for his country estate, where he is cared for by two young women who are squatting in his house. When more survivors arrive seeking sanctuary, tensions increase and this diverse group of strangers must negotiate a new way of living.
Far in the future, an isolated community of descendants continue to farm this same estate. Among their most treasured possessions are a few books, including a copy of Jane Eyre, from which they have constructed their hierarchies, rituals and beliefs. When 15-year-old Agnes begins to record the events of her life, she has no idea what consequences will follow. Locked away for her transgressions, she escapes to the urban ruins and a kind of freedom, but must decide where her future lies.
These two stories interweave, illuminating each other in unexpected ways and offering long vistas of loss, regeneration and wonder.
Treasure has lived in London since 2004, where he studied creative writing at Royal Holloway. He wrote The Male Gaze, a novel that drew on his American experience, mingling social comedy with political drama. Offered a two-book publishing contract with Picador, he went on to explore the divided loyalties of an Anglo-Irish family in Besotted, a novel that celebrates the enduring bonds of brotherhood. The Book of Air is Joe’s first venture into speculative fiction. He and Leni currently live in Balham, London.
This program is free and open to the public. For more information, go to the library’s website at www.newportlibrary.org or call 541-265-2153.