112th: Jennifer Finney Boylan's "Long Black Veil"
On a warm August night in 1980, six college students are up to no good inside the dilapidated ruins of Philadelphia’s notoriously haunted Eastern State Penitentiary. It’s not long before they realize they are locked in and not alone, and the terrible night ends in tragedy. Years later, one of them—celebrity chef Jon Casey—will finally be charged with murder, but will Jon’s old friend Judith Carrigan testify to his innocence? Judith is protecting long-held and hard-won secrets of her own, and to defend her friend, she risks not only sacrificing the life she has fought to build but also potentially losing her husband and son. A compelling tale of murder and disappearance, Long Black Veil is also a skillful examination of the universal tension between the people we have been and the people we become.
A dark and insightful tale of mystery and epiphany,Long Black Veil imagines the past as its own kind of prison and examines the lengths to which people will go to break free. Boylan poses questions fundamental to the human experience, and answers with disarming humor and empathy. What do we owe to the people of our past? Is it possible to become someone new, or does our history determine our future? And in any life that contains a before and an after, how is it possible to be one person, not two?
Jennifer Finney Boylan author of fourteen books, is the inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer-in-Residence at Barnard College of Columbia University. She also serves as the national co-chair of the board of directors of GLAAD, the media advocacy group for LGBT people worldwide. She has been a contributor to the Op-Ed page of the New York Times since 2007; in 2013 she became contributing opinion writer for the page. She serves on the board of trustees of the Kinsey Institute for Research on Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. Jenny also serves as special advisor to the president of Colby College in Maine. She is a consultant and cast member for I Am Cait, the docuseries about Caitlyn Jenner that debuted on the E! network in July of 2015; and also served as a consultant to the Amazon series Transparent. Her 2003 memoir, She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders was the first bestselling work by a transgender American. A novelist, memoirist, and short story writer, she is also a nationally known advocate for civil rights. She lives in New York City and in Belgrade Lakes, Maine, with her wife, Deedie, and her two sons, Zach and Sean.
Marie Myung-Ok Lee is a novelist who teaches at Columbia University. Her next novel is forthcoming with Simon & Schuster in 2016. She writes regularly for The New York Times, Slate, The Guardian, The Nation, The Atlantic, Five Chapters, and Salon. She has pieces forthcoming in the Paris Review and Joyland. She was the first recipient of a creative writing Fulbright Fellowship to South Korea, was a judge for the National Book Awards, won the Richard Margolis award for social justice reporting, and was a finalist for the United States Artists Fellowship. Previously, she taught at Brown and Yale.