THE CARTOGRAPHER OF NO MAN’S LAND by P.S. Duffy
Thursday, May 21 at 7:00pm at the library
In honor of the library’s 100th anniversary, we invite you to participate in our first ever city-wide read. A city-wide read is a community reading program that invites everyone in a city to read and discuss the same book. The book we have chosen is THE CARTOGRAPHER OF NO MAN’S LAND by P.S. Duffy. Come check out a copy of the book and start reading!
We also have copies of the book for sale for $14 each. P.S. Duffy graciously joined us for the Library’s 100th Anniversary Celebration Open House and is scheduled to visit the library again for a presentation on May 21st when she’ll talk about her book, writing in general, WWI, and answer questions from the audience.
This book is set in the same time period that our library was built and first opened. Exploring it, as a community, will give us insight into the world of the early 1900s, when the good folks of our area committed the time, effort, and funds to bring our beloved library into existence.
THE CARTOGRAPHER OF NO MAN’S LAND
Brief Description: Set in a coastal village in Nova Scotia and the battlefields of France during the First World War, The Cartographer of No Man’s Land follows the journey of Angus MacGrath. An expert sailor, a failed artist, and a reluctant soldier, he defies his pacifist upbringing and ends up on the Western Front in a search for his missing brother-in-law that becomes a search for himself. At home his twelve year old son, Simon Peter, comes of age, and must negotiate shifting loyalties in a town fired up by the war. It is a story about fathers and sons, comrades in arms, family, and the saving grace of connecting to one another.
BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF THE AUTHOR
P.S. (Penny) Duffy came to Minnesota nearly 30 years ago from Washington, D.C. to get her doctorate at the U of M. and decided never to leave this beautiful state. She is the author of numerous professional publications in the neurosciences, but only took her creative writing seriously late in life. Retired from a 25 year clinical and research career which focused on helping those with neurologically-based speech and language disorders, she now balances creative writing with her work as a writer and editor in the neurosciences for Mayo Clinic.
Since 2001 she has had poetry, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, and essays published. She is also the author of three books: A Stockbridge Homecoming (Bright Sky Press, 2001), a memoir of her family’s time in 1940s China where she was born during the Communist Revolution; a graduate textbook on cognitive impairments associated with right brain damage; and her first novel, The Cartographer of No Man’s Land (W. W. Norton, 2013).
She lives in Rochester with her husband Joe not far from their two children and four grandchildren.
- Chosen as a city-wide reads by Austin, Wayzata, and Chatfield, Minnesota
- Invited presentations at bookstores, libraries, historical societies, writing groups, and the University of Wisconsin, and over 30 book clubs, including skype sessions with clubs in Colorado, Seattle, WA, and Washington, D.C.
- The only fiction writer invited to speak (along with the consulate generals of Canada, Germany, and France) at PARTNERS IN PEACE, a WW I 100th anniversary celebration of Armistice Day in Minneapolis, November 11, 2014.
- A Barnes and Noble 2013 Discover Great New Writers selection
- An “Indies Next” pick (independent bookstores nationwide)
- “Library Reads” selection (voted on by librarians nationwide)
- A New York Post “Must read” book of the week 10/26/13
- Oprah – selected by her editors as “one of six books that make time stand still” and as one of the Books Of the Week, 2014.
- Published independently in Canada (Penguin Random House); the U.K. (Myrmidon), in Taiwan, and soon to be translated into Hebrew and published in Israel.
- One of six finalists for the 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, an international prize, named for the Dayton Peace Accords, that recognizes the power of fiction to foster peace.
- Selected as one of “Five Must Read Novels about the Great War” by Chatelaine Magazine (Canada’s largest selling national women’s magazine)
“Turning the final page, I wanted to go back to the beginning if only to contemplate a writer who has such a broad and compassionate understanding of the human condition.” (The Washington Post)
“Essential reading for historical fiction lovers and war story fans alike; very highly recommended. (Library Journal, starred review)
“A deep and vivid exploration of the human heart and the high seas, reminiscent of Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front or Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News.” (The Minneapolis Star Tribune)
Settings come to life– each character, however minor, is a distinct personality–an unusually rich novel.” (Booklist, starred review)