Laurie Halse Anderson’s debut novel Speak still tops YA charts as one of the best contemporary novels in the genre. Her much-anticipated new novel The Impossible Knife of Memory has already received considerable attention in publications such as USA Today and Entertainment Weekly.
Laurie Halse Anderson opens the new season of YA Lit at 92Y with a reading from the book and discussion of the personal, sometimes-painful, memories that bring this particular story into sharp focus. A book signing will follow.
The Impossible Knife of Memory centers around high school senior Hayley whose single father, Andy, struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from the Iraq War. The two have never lived in one town long enough for those memories to catch up with him, until now. When Hayley and Andy finally stop running, Andy learns that a soldier’s battle is never really over. Neither then, is his only daughter’s. Anderson’s descriptions of her character’s pain is visceral; her own father struggled through PTSD and alcoholism throughout her adolescence. Redemptive and relatable, The Impossible Knife of Memory is for any reader who has ever had to parent a parent.
Can't make it to the event? Leave your questions for our guests below, and they might be used on stage during the Q&A. Keep an eye on 92Y On Demand after the event for any video clips we might share! You might see your question used on stage.
Laurie Halse Anderson is a best-selling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous American Library Association and state awards. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Chains also made the Carnegie Medal Shortlist in the United Kingdom.
Laurie was the proud recipient of the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award given by YALSA division of the American Library Association for her "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature.” She was also honored with the ALAN Award from the National Council of Teachers of English and the St. Katharine Drexel Award from the Catholic Librarian Association.
Sarah Harrison Smith is the Children's Book Editor at The New York Times Book Review.
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