I can't tell you how excited I am about today's Imprint Extra. Really. Matthew Norman's Domestic Violets is so new, there isn't even a picture of the cover on Harper Perennial's website. In fact, the book summary has yet to be written.
gushing description I could find comes from the Harper Perennial blog, The Olive Reader, posted last December:
Get ready to hear a lot about this book, because I’m going to start talking about it now and keep mentioning it constantly until next fall. It’s the story of Tom Violet, a struggling novelist with a soul-sucking office job whose father is a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist. Tom has a lot of problems: the aforementioned job and pain in the ass father, a terribly inconvenient crush on his assistant, a suspicion that his wife is sleeping with a guy she met at the gym, and, of course, the desperate desire to publish his novel. He’s kind of an idiot sometimes, but he never stops being sympathetic. I fell in love with him a little bit.I admit I'm developing a bit of crush myself . . . and I've read only the first few chapters. What Erica didn't tell you in her description is that you'll also meet a neurotic dog, a brace of ex-stepmothers, a powerful literary agent, and other great characters. The novel is told from Tom's point of view and is written in an easygoing, almost conversational, style. Here's a sneak peek:
I open the door and find my dad sitting at my computer desk staring at his laptop and casually smoking a joint. The window is open and he's turned on the ceiling fan, but the entire upstairs smells like the inside of a VW van, and I have to actually wave a plume of smoke out of my face.Later in the summer Domestic Violets will be spotlighted here in more depth for an Imprint Friday post, and my full review will appear a little closer to the book's publication date. Watch for some good buzz about this debut novel at BookExpo America in May and on book blogs over the summer.
"Nice, Dad. Just make yourself right at home."
He coughs and snaps his computer shut with a loud thwack. From the sleepy stoned look on his face, I can't tell if he's been writing or napping.
"You know there is a child in the house, right?"
He holds the wiry little bud out, offering me some.
I look out into the hallway for signs of [my wife and daughter] and then close the door. "Alright, but I'm doing it under formal protest."
"I'll make sure it's noted in the official ledger," he says. (p. 59)
To learn more about Matthew Norman, be sure to stop by his blog, The Norman Nation. In one of my favorite of his recent posts, Norman talks about his 17-month-old daughter's taste in reading material.
I know that it's going to be torture for some of you to wait until September to read Norman's debut novel. Worry no more! I'm thrilled to be able to offer one of my readers an advance reader copy of Domestic Violets. This giveaway is open to anyone with a U.S. or Canada mailing address. Just fill out the following form to be entered for a chance to win. I'll pick a winner on April 24 (and will delete all personal data at that time).
Harper Perennial is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For information about the imprint, please read Erica Barmash's welcome note posted here on June 18, 2010. I encourage you to add your reviews of Harper Perennial books to the review link-up page; it's a great way to discover Good Books for Cool People. And don't miss the The Olive Reader, the Harper Perennial blog.