FEATURED EBOOK

The novel from bestselling author Lisa Alther—now available as an ebook

A humorous journey from ’80s Manhattan to the wild side of small-town living

Clea Shawn is exhausted by her life: her globe-trotting career as a travel photographer, her successful husband’s numerous liaisons, and the unrequited love she feels for her best friend, Elke. She decides to get away from her Manhattan townhouse—and a city in the throws of the ’80s—and move to Roches Ridge, the picturesque Vermont town she visits on a ski trip. Roches Ridge is quiet, sleepy, and seemingly unchanged by the times. But Clea soon discovers this small town has big secrets—and even bigger characters. From the Don Johnson look-alike who introduces his salon’s clientele to punk hairstyles and the band of militant lesbians camped out in Mink Creek to the romance-writing cosmetics saleswoman turned stalker and the strapping hillbilly with a predilection for animal skeleton art, Roches Ridge is livelier than Clea originally thinks. . . . A rollicking small-town adventure, Bedrock features Alther’s signature mix of unexpected, humorous characters, and a charming heroine on the long bumpy road to self-actualization.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Lisa Alther, including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.

ABOUT Lisa Alther

  • BIOGRAPHY

    For novelist Lisa Alther, as for so many of her fellow Southerners, the past is ever present, particularly in places like Kingsport, Tennessee, the small town where she was born in 1944. One of five children, Alther grew up in a region of small farms and factories, surrounded by a close-knit Appalachian community. Her father was a second-generation town doctor, and her mother was a former English teacher from upstate New York. Another strong presence in her upbringing was her paternal grandmother, the founder of the Virginia Club and a pillar of the Southern way of life. Lisa attended public schools in Kingsport, taking her place in the marching band after an unsuccessful brush with flag swinging, living the life of a typical 1950s teen.

    Alther left Tennessee to attend Wellesley College and then went to New York after graduation in 1966 to work in book publishing at Atheneum. She moved to Vermont in 1968 to raise her daughter. In the years that followed, Alther began writing journalism. But, inspired by the great Southern women writers and storytellers, she also worked on novels and short stories. After many rejections, her first novel, Kinflicks, was published in 1976 to critical praise and became a bestseller.

    Kinflicks was the first of six bestselling novels.  The others were Original Sins (1980), Other Women (1984), Bedrock (1990), Birdman and the Dancer (1993), and Five Minutes in Heaven (1995). Alther also taught Southern fiction at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont, and at East Tennessee State University.  She has produced one work of nonfiction, Kinfolks: Falling Off the Family Tree. For Kinfolks (2007), she researched her family’s possible connection to the Melungeon people, a little-known population in eastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia whose ethnic origins are unclear but may possibly be traced to Portuguese, Spanish, African, and Turkish settlers, soldiers, and sailors who may have integrated with Native American tribes in the seventeenth century.

    Alther has written novels set in both the South and in her adopted northern homeland. They feature a comic wit that addresses human foibles as gracefully as her more serious prose tackles weightier topics such as racism, feminism, domestic abuse, politics, and sexuality. Her work aims “to portray the human reality behind the cultural stereotypes, particularly those regarding women.”

    Having lived in London and Paris, Alther now divides her time among Tennessee, Vermont, and New York City.

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