Young Author Finds Success ‘Among The Ten Thousand Things’

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Writer Julia Pierpont is getting rave reviews for her debut novel — “Among the Ten Thousand Things” — about a marriage in crisis. She joins us. Plus: a brand new book from the beloved Dr. Seuss himself.

A portion of the cover of Julia Pierpont's debut novel, "Among the Ten Thousand Things." (Courtesy Random House)
A portion of the cover of Julia Pierpont's debut novel, "Among the Ten Thousand Things." (Courtesy Random House)

In Julia Pierpont’s new novel – first novel – on infidelity and divorce, the pile of evidence comes in a loosely wrapped box that gets opened by an eleven-year-old daughter. In the elevator  On her way up to a family and home that will soon be torn apart by betrayal. It’s a fine-grained observation of a meltdown that many, many families have faced. Lived. Told through the lens of the father, the mother, the angry son, the bewildered daughter. Every view unique in its own way, and somehow all universal. Like divorces. This hour On Point:  Julia Pierpont and her breakout debut novel, “Among the Ten Thousand Things.”
-- Tom Ashbrook


Julia Pierpont, writer and novelist. Her debut novel is "Among the Ten Thousand Things." (@juliapierpont)

From Tom’s Reading List

Vanity Fair: How Julia Pierpont’s Debut Novel Sold for Six Figures Before She Graduated — "During the hazy summer months, the books we often tote—on vacation, to the pool, aboard a boat deck—are those that require sporadic attention. We’ve checked out until further notice, and desire a frothy escape, maybe even something we don’t mind leaving at the beach house for the next guests. But this year, the book poised to define summer 2015 and find its place in every bag is anything but a treacly throwaway."

New York Times: Review: In ‘Among the Ten Thousand Things,’ Julia Pierpont’s First Novel, a Family Struggles -- "Who’s to say what constitutes happiness, and whether one person’s idea of it is the same as anyone else’s? Families are complicated. Like most, the one in Ms. Pierpont’s book — Jack and Deb Shanley and their children, 11-year-old Kay and 15-year-old Simon — drifts along both happily and not happily, kept afloat by some complicated proprietary formula whose proportions are mysterious even to its members. They live in a nice apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Jack is a successful artist who makes large, provocative sculptures and installations that speak to post-Sept. 11 alienation; Deb, a former dancer, now works as a dance teacher and has default responsibility for the kids. Their marriage is hardly perfect (Jack cheats; Deb resents), but it has its own peculiar scaffolding and uneasy equilibrium."

NPR Books: Infidelity Is Steeped In Suspense In 'Among The Ten Thousand Things' — "Talk about opening with a bang: at the beginning of Julia Pierpont's debut novel, Among the Ten Thousand Things, an 11-year-old girl named Kay Shanley enters the lobby of her New York City apartment building. We readers have already been clued into the fact that Kay is the kind of awkward, shy, pre-teen other girls ridicule. We just want her to get safely into her family's apartment and back to watching the Harry Potter movies she loves. But, just as the elevator doors are closing, the doorman signals for her to hold up. He hands her a package addressed to her mom, who's called 'Deb'."

Read An Excerpt Of "Among the Ten Thousand Things" By Julia Pierpont

A New Seuss Book Comes To Light

Donald Pease, professor of English and comparative literature at Dartmouth College, where he also the Ted and Helen Geisel Third Century Professor in the Humanities. Author of "Theodor Seuss Giesel."

Cathy Goldsmith, Vice President and associate publishing director of Random House's Golden Books for Young Readers. Former art director for Theodore Seuss Geisel. She colorized the art for "What Pet Should I Get?"

Vulture: How Dr. Seuss’s Editor Helped Finish His Lost Book, 24 Years After His Death — "All the objects, including the water and birdcage, are variants on the warm red, teal, and pale yellow of 1960’s One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish,which features the same brother-sister protagonists. But the colors are actually blends of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black that had yet to be developed for wide use when Seuss was likely working on the book."

This program aired on July 28, 2015.


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