Chris Bohjalian’s “The Flight Attendant” leads books on Vermont
Chris BohjalianThe 2011 book, “The Night Strangers,” details a family’s attempt to get their life back on track after a plane crash on Lake Champlain. His new book, “The stewardessAlso keep an eye on the sky.
“I’ve always been in awe of the miracle of aviation,” said the best-selling author of 20 books, who lives in Weybridge. “I have always been amazed by the flight attendants. I know how hard they work.
Cassandra Bowden, the stewardess at the center of Bohjalian’s next novel, drinks as much as she works. After a flight to Dubai, she wakes up hungover in her hotel room next to the body of a dead man with his throat cut. Cassandra, as Bohjalian puts it, later discovers that it’s difficult to run away from a corpse found in your bed, even when you’re fleeing eight time zones.
“The Flight Attendant,” due out March 13, is one of several books with Vermont relations that have been released in recent weeks or will soon be published. Bohjalian said his latest effort exploited the romantic notion that flight attendants are all CIA or KGB spies, or money launderers or cocaine distributors. This idea may not be true, but the plot creates great intrigue, according to Bohjalian.
He said that “The Flight Attendant” began, unsurprisingly, following a flight from Europe. He was meeting a friend for dinner in New York City and in the meantime he ordered an arak, a clear Middle Eastern drink made from anise. The combination of a transatlantic flight and a drink from the Middle East fostered his spark which led him to launch “The Flight Attendant” on the spot.
“It was frantic,” Bohjalian said of that initial creative impulse that led to the first three pages of his new novel unfolding on piles of scrap paper and cocktail napkins. “When I start a book, I don’t know where it’s going. A central question, noted Bohjalian, is why did the man die while Cassandra is still alive?
“The Flight Attendant” doesn’t even hit shelves for a month and a half, but Bohjalian has already sold the rights to the film. “The Big Bang Theory” actress Kaley Cuoco acquired the rights to the book to make it a limited edition series.
“I can’t think of a better actor on the planet than Kaley Cuoco to bring my alcoholic flight attendant mess to life,” Bohjalian said.
Other new books with Vermont links that are available now or will soon include:
“I happen to be America», Various authors, published January 16 (Touchstone / Simon and Schuster): author Julia alvarez, Writer-in-Residence at Middlebury College, contributes to this book featuring a multitude of writers offering their perspectives on the nation’s political, social and cultural landscape during the Trump era. Other contributors to the book include Russell Banks, Mary Higgins Clark, Neil Gaiman, Alice Hoffman, Joyce Maynard, Joyce Carol Oates, Sara Paretsky, Richard Russo, Art Spiegelman, Paul Theroux, and Alice Walker.
“Norwich: the secret to happiness and excellence of a small town in Vermont,” through Karen crouse, published Jan. 23 (Simon and Schuster): On the eve of the 2018 Winter Olympics, this New York Times sports reporter examines the Connecticut River Valley city and its penchant for producing Olympians such as gold medal mogul skier Hannah Kearney and ski jumpers Jeff Hastings and Mike Holland.
“Heart Spring Mountain,” through Robin macarthur, published Jan. 9 (Ecco): The southern Vermont resident who is half of folk duo Red Heart the Ticker is also a writer whose short story collection, “Half Wild” was released in 2016. Her follow-up is a novel set in Vermont in the aftermath of the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, and a girl’s search for her missing mother and for the truth about her family history.
“Friends and other liars,” through Kaela coble, scheduled for release on Tuesday (Sourcebooks): this is the first novel by Coble, who lives in Burlington. “Friends and Other Liars” is set in the mythical town of Chatwick, based on Coble native St. Albans, and protagonist Ruby St. James returns to her hometown amid scenes of death and mistrust.
“Love, hate and other filters,” through Samira ahmed, Released Jan. 16 (Soho Teen): This former Vermont resident has written a novel for young readers about a Muslim teenager born in the United States who faces cultural hatred and bigotry.
“Mouse Scouts: Make Friends,” through Sarah dillard, Released Jan. 9 (Penguin Random House): Illustrator / writer Waitsfield features a rodent scout troop struggling to learn what friendship really means.
“Lords of St. Thomas,” through Jackson ellis, set for release April 10 (Green Writers Press): Raised in Plymouth and now living in Burlington, Ellis’ novel follows the Lord family as they wage a battle against the overwhelming development of the Hoover Dam in the years 1930. Ellis is the winner of the 2017 Howard Frank Mosher Debut Novel Award by Green Writers Press, based in Brattleboro.
Speaking of Howard Frank Mosher, the latest book from the author of the Northeast Kingdom, “North PointsWas published Jan. 23 by St. Martin’s Press and featured in the Burlington Free Press on Sunday.
If you are going to
Upcoming events related to these authors include:
- 5 p.m. on February 8, the Vermont College of Fine Arts honors Howard Frank Mosher with appearances of Chris Bohjalian; Pulitzer Prize winner Richard russo; authors Garret keiser and Robin macarthur; Mosher’s son, Jake mosher; and Thomas Christophe Greene, author and president of the college; Hall of Elders, Montpellier. 828-8600, www.vcfa.edu
- 6:30 p.m. on February 8, Burlington resident Kaela coble celebrates the launch of her first novel, “Friends and Other Liars”, Phoenix Books, Burlington. $ 3 per person includes a $ 5 coupon on the featured book. 448-3350, www.phoenixbooks.biz.
- 6 p.m. on February 13, Jonathan santlofer, editor of “It Occurs to Me That I Am American,” moderates a discussion with a contributing writer Julia alvarez and artists Jane kent and Shahzia Sikander, Davis Center, University of Vermont, Burlington. To free. 656-2014, www.uvm.edu.
- 6:30 p.m. on March 7 Chris Bohjalian marks the release of her latest novel, “The Flight Attendant”, with an appearance at Phoenix Books, Burlington. $ 3 per person includes a $ 5 coupon on the featured book. 448-3350, www.phoenixbooks.biz.
- 6.30 p.m. March 8, Chris Bohjalian celebrates the release of “The Flight Attendant” once again, this time at Phoenix Books, Rutland. To free. 855-8078, www.phoenixbooks.biz.
Contact Brent Hallenbeck at 660-1844 or [email protected]