The Novel Kitchen is now open! Please stop by any day of the week 11:30am to 7:30pm to enjoy their menu of tantalizing artisanal foods and beverages.
Acclaimed author Alice Mattison’s new novel explores the hard choices a young woman and her friends made decades earlier at the height of the Vietnam War.
Decades ago in Brooklyn, three girls demonstrated against the Vietnam War. Helen became a violent revolutionary and was killed in a protest in 1970. Val wrote a controversial book that was essentially a novelization of Helen’s life. And Olive became an editor and writer, now comfortably settled with her husband, Griff, in New Haven.When Olive is asked to write an essay about Val’s book, doing so brings back to the forefront Olive and Griff’s tangled histories. Things only become more fraught when Griff borrows Olive’s treasured first edition of the novel—and loses it. Then Griff’s new colleague, Jean, finds the book and begins reading it, setting off a series of events that will introduce new conflicts, tragedies, and friendships into the precarious balance of Olive and Griff’s once stable home.
Conscience, the dazzling new novel from award-winning author Alice Mattison, paints the nuanced relationships between the palpable personalities of Olive, Griff, and Jean with her signature wit and precision. And as Mattison explores the ways in which women make a difference—for good or ill—in the world, she elegantly weaves together the past and the present, and the political and the personal.
Alice Mattison is a widely acclaimed author and longtime writing teacher. Her novels include The Book Borrower, Nothing Is Quite Forgotten in Brooklyn, and When We Argued All Night. Twelve of her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, and other work has been published in The New York Times, Ploughshares, and Ecotone and anthologized in The Pushcart Prize, PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and Best American Short Stories. A frequent panelist at AWP and other writing conferences, she has held residencies at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. She has taught at Brooklyn College, Yale University, and, for the last twenty-one years, in the Bennington Writing Seminars, the MFA program at Bennington College.