Misty Valley Books' Vermont Voices 2009, in its ninth annual edition, will host Philip Baruth, UVM professor, on Sunday, November 15. Baruth will present his recent historical novel, The Brothers Boswell, at the First Universalist Church in Chester's Stone Village at 2 p.m.
The year is 1763. Twenty-two-year-old James Boswell of Edinburgh is eager to advance himself in London society. Today his sights are set on furthering his acquaintance with Dr. Samuel Johnson, famed for his Dictionary of the English Language. They are going to take a boat across the Thames to Greenwich Palace.
Watching them secretly is John Boswell, James's younger brother. He has stalked his older brother for days. Consumed with envy, John is planning to take revenge on his brother and Johnson for presumed slights. He carries a pair of miniature pistols that fire a single golden bullet each and there is murder in his heart.
The psychological motivations of sibling rivals are compellingly portrayed in Baruth's meticulously researched literary thriller. Eighteenth century London comes to life, as an unpredictable killer tracks his prey in the shadows of a turbulent city.
"Many novels claim to be literary thrillers," says David Liss, author of The Whiskey Rebels, "but rarely are they quite this literary and quite this thrilling. Philip Baruth has written a remarkable work."
In addition to being a novelist and professor, Baruth is an award-winning commentator for Vermont Public Radio and 2010 Democratic candidate for the Vermont Senate from Chittenden County. His last book, The X President, which traced the attempts of a 109-year-old Bill Clinton to rewrite his historical legacy, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2003. Baruth also publishes The Vermont Daily Briefing, an award-winning political blog in operation since September 2005.
Baruth lives in Burlington and has taught at the University of Vermont since 1993. He earned a B.A. at Brown University and his PhD at the University of California, Irvine.
On November 22, Robert Cohen, who teaches at Middlebury College, will close Vermont Voices 2009 with a presentation of his recent novel, Amateur Barbarians. He is author also of Inspired Sleep.
All Vermont Voices presentations are at the First Universalist Church at 2 p.m. A reception and book signing follows.
For more information call Misty Valley Books at 875-3400 or visit www.mvbooks.com.