Abilene Reads! @ Your Library

Abilene Reads! @ Your Library

This September, as part of the annual West Texas Book Festival, Abilene Public Library is encouraging all Abilenians to be a part of our citywide reading program, Abilene Reads! We will be featuring of Mary Helen Specht and her debut novel “Migratory Animals”. Born and raised in Abilene, Specht has a B.A. in English from Rice University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. Her writing has been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes and has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times {{more}} and the Texas Observer. A past Fulbright Scholar to Nigeria and Dobie-Paisano Writing Fellow, Specht teaches creative writing at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. The Austin American-Statesman has described “Migratory Animals” as a “powerful debut novel about a group of 30-somethings struggling for connection and belonging.” Publisher’s Weekly writes “Specht’s vivid debut probes the nature of family, the notion of home, and the tender burdens of both…Specht’s distinctive prose—rich with sharp observations, nimble language, and lyrical imagery—makes the novel a quirky and memorable read.” Told from shifting viewpoints, the story primarily focuses on Flannery, a young scientist, who finds herself unexpectedly torn between Nigeria and Texas when she returns for a brief visit to family and friends. In discovering her sister’s illness Flannery struggles to determine which direction to take, personal happiness or family loyalty, knowing that no one path holds everything she longs for. Her close-knit circles of friends struggle with their own grownup dilemmas providing both comfort and conflict for Flannery. The pages seem to fly by as readers grow more attached to these childhood friends as they attempt to conquer life together. Copies of the book are available in print from Abilene Public Library and free access to the ebook edition is available via the library’s website. Readers are invited to a book discussion group, hosted by Anne Ellis, at the Mockingbird Branch, on Saturday September 12th at 2:30pm. In addition Specht will be joining us at this year’s Festival where she will be featured in a meet & greet author session on Saturday Sept. 26th at 10:20 am. You don’t want to miss out!