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Bay Path College takes 'comfort' in book talk

Date: 3/2/2009

LONGMEADOW -- On March 5, Bay Path College will welcome best-selling author Ann Hood, who will discuss how a personal story can influence an author's fiction and non-fiction. The event will take place in Empsall Hall on the Longmeadow campus at 7 p.m., and it is free and open to the public.

Hood will discuss her latest books, "The Knitting Circle" and the essay collection "Comfort," which have at their core the author's experience of losing her five-year-old daughter to a sudden and virulent form of strep. Publisher's Weekly called "Comfort" "a wrenchingly honest memoir of Hood's daughter's death and its aftermath (that reads) like a tightly controlled scream."

"The Knitting Circle," in which fictional Mary Baxter stumbles into knitting after the death of her own young daughter, has been similarly lauded.

"I know how unlikely it sounds that I closed 'The Knitting Circle' feeling uplifted, even cleansed," wrote a reviewer in Newsday. "I felt as if I were seeing with fresh eyes, ready to forgive old hurts and entertain new thoughts. What a gift for Ann Hood, who suffered a loss nearly identical to Mary Baxter's, to have made of her grief."

Hood lives in Providence and has been writing novels of compelling and moving fiction, non-fiction and essays for more than two decades.

A former TWA flight attendant, she published her first book, "Somewhere off the Coast of Maine," in 1987 with Bantam Books. Most recently, her essays and short stories have appeared in Good Housekeeping, the New York Times, Ladies Home Journal, More, Tin House, Ploughshares and the Paris Review.

A book sale and signing will follow the event.

No registration is required for this event, and walk-ins are welcome.

For more event information, contact Briana Sitler at 565-1066 or