Main Point Books welcomes Rachel Pastan as she launches her new novel "In The Field." Rachel will be joined by special guest Susan Scarf Merrell, author of "Shirley: A Novel."
Based loosely on the life of Barbara McClintock, "In The Field" explores what it takes to triumph in the ruthless world of mid-20th-century genetics. In 1923, having persuaded her resistant mother to send her to college, Kate Croft falls in love with science. Painfully rebuffed by a girl she longs for, and in flight from her own confusing sexuality, Kate finds refuge in the calm rationality of biology: its vision of a deeply interconnected world, and the promise that the new field of genetics can explain the way people are.
Rachel Pastan’s previous novel, Alena, was named an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times Book Review. She is also the author of two other novels, Lady of the Snakes and This Side of Married, which was a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her short fiction has been published in The Georgia Review, The Threepenny Review, Mademoiselle, Prairie Schooner, and many other places. In 2014 she edited Seven Writers (The Common Press), a chapbook of writing inspired by exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, where she served as Editor-at-Large for several years and developed the popular blog Miranda.
Guest Susan Scarf Merrell is the author of Shirley: A Novel, now a major motion picture starring Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg. She is also the author of A Member of the Family, and The Accidental Bond: How Sibling Connections Influence Adult Relationships. She co-directs the Southampton Writers Conference, is program director (along with Meg Wolitzer) of the novel incubator program, BookEnds, and teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing & Literature at Stony Brook Southampton. She served as fiction editor of The Southampton Review. Essays, book reviews and short fiction appear most recently in The New York Times, Newsday, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Common Online, The Washington Post, and East Magazine.