Julia Glass

Jul 5, 2022

Vigil Harbor

A Novel

Pantheon 2022

Julia and I discuss her latest novel, Vigil Harbor, a story of the near future in which many of our current crises are amplified in terrifying yet recognizable ways. The Covid pandemic and its aftereffects are still felt, coastal communities are being swept into the sea, a violent wave of xenophobia and anti-immigrant anti-refugee sentiment stokes fire everywhere—such is the world a little more than a decade from now in Julia’s imaginings. Like so many of Julia’s works of fiction, it is the voices of the characters that populate this world that make the novel sing. There’s the architect, Austin Kepner, who obsesses over building houses that are made to withstand the furies of an angry planet’s weather. Margo, the sardonic, brainy teacher. Brecht, home from NYU after escaping a domestic terrorist attack, and so many other unique and compelling voices. Life in the small coastal town of Vigil Harbor is roiled by two unexpected visitors, one a stranger, and the other well-known to certain inhabitants. The result is a novel of many pleasures that unsettles even as it delights.

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Chris Holmes is Chair of Literatures in English and Associate Professor at Ithaca College. He writes criticism on contemporary global literatures. His book, Kazuo Ishiguro as World Literature, is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing. He is the co-director of The New Voices Festival, a celebration of work in poetry, prose, and playwriting by up-and-coming young writers.

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Chris Holmes

Chris Holmes is Chair of Literatures in English and Associate Professor at Ithaca College. He writes criticism on contemporary global literatures. His book, Kazuo Ishiguro as World Literature, is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing. He is the co-director of The New Voices Festival, a celebration of work in poetry, prose, and playwriting by up-and-coming young writers.

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