Local author’s novel imagines life in Jonathan Edwards’ Northampton

Thu 24 Oct 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Great, huge article in the Daily Hampshire Gazette about Susan Stinson and her 10-years-in-the-writing novel Spider in a Tree.
What the interwebs version does not show is the lovely picture of Susan and her book.

Two more items about Susan today, one good, one not so!

The not so good news: we shipped some copies of Spider in a Tree to Susan in California for her readings this week. When she told me they hadn’t arrived I checked with UPS and saw something I’d never seen in the “Activity” column: Train derailment(!). Hope all is well but I do not know if we will ever see those books again! Hmm.

The second, much better item, was an interview with Susan by her good friend Sally Bellerose on Lambda Literary. I’ve read a lot of interviews with Susan and I enjoyed this one the most!

Here’s an excerpt from the article in the Daily Hampshire Gazette to go on with:


The experience led Stinson, who works as a writing coach and has published three previous novels, to begin lengthy research on Edwards, on local history, and on daily life in Colonial America. One of the novel’s most interesting aspects is its portrait of a very different Northampton, with its abundant meadows and crops, its dusty (or muddy or icy) roads, and a smelly tannery, for some reason located in the center of town, just down the street from the Edwards house.

Edwards himself is something of an absent-minded professor, a man who lives a good deal of the time in his head, writing for hours and often neglecting his appearance. He’s fascinated by science and nature, both charming and perplexing his wife in one scene in which a spider crawls onto his finger: “He was regarding the spider almost tenderly … with the look of a boy scratching the nose of his first horse. He was dear to her, but so strange.”


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