The second reading of the College of Saint Rose’s Visiting Writer series, “Frequency North”, now in its seventh season, presented contemporary writer Megan Abbott this past Thursday. Megan Abbott is the author of, most recently, The End of Everything, hot off her radio-appearance on WAMC’s “The Round Table”.
The event’s host, and occasionally bearded-due-to-sabbatical professor Daniel Nester, introduced Abbott first as a friend, (they attended graduate school at NYU together), then as a fellow writer by highlighting her most recent awards and her, now, five acclaimed novels. Most notably her 2007 novel Queenpin which received the Barry Award for best paperback novel and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allen Poe Award.
Before reading the first chapter from her new novel, The End of Everything, Abbott took about thirty minutes to preface her work and to discuss her shift from boiler-plate, historically-supported noir to a more creative, childish perspective on mysteries and crime. She introduces her narrator Lizzie, a thirteen-year-old girl stuck witnessing and investigating a Michigan suburb in the 1980s. Abbott admits to knowing the setting intimately by reliving some childhood memories that, in hindsight, resemble the delicate details established by her wordy prose and her comfortable machine-gun reading style.