Sharon Solwitz Reading & Signing Once, in Lourdes
Once, In Lourdes by Sharon Solwitz
As the Vietnam War rages overseas, four friends make a vow. For the next two weeks, they will live for each other and for each day. Then, at the end of the two weeks, they will sacrifice themselves on the altar of their friendship.
“This astonishing novel dives deep into the minds and bodies of four teenagers at the height of the sixties. Self-loathing Kay, ethereal but deformed Vera, precariously balanced CJ, and stoic Saint are self-declared outcasts from what passes for normal in their school and families. Bonding through sexual awakening and confusion, love of one another and dismissal of the world’s intrusion on their freedom, the 4Ever friends decide on a suicide pact—and the reader is hooked into their intensity, on tenterhooks to find out who, how, and whether they will carry out their pledge. This is a story that reads achingly true to young angst, then, now, and always. It’s an achievement of remarkable empathy—and gorgeous prose.”—Janet Burroway, author of Raw Silk and Writing Fiction
Sharon Solwitz is the author of a novel, Bloody Mary, and a collection of short stories, Blood and Milk, which won the Carl Sandburg Literary Award from Friends of the Chicago Public Library and the prize for adult fiction from the Society of Midland Authors, and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. Several of her stories have been featured in Pushcart Prize anthologies and Best American Short Stories. Other honors for her individual stories, which have appeared in such magazines as TriQuarterly, Mademoiselle, and Ploughshares, include the Katherine Anne Porter Prize, the Nelson Algren Literary Award, and grants and fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council. Solwitz teaches fiction writing at Purdue University and lives in Chicago with her husband, the poet Barry Silesky.