Sat, Oct 21|
Howling Basset Books
Martha McPhee Omega Farm
A long-awaited memoir from an award-winning novelist Martha McPhee
Time & Location
Oct 21, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Howling Basset Books, 39 Old Turnpike Rd, Oldwick, NJ 08858, USA
About the event
We are honorded to host Martha McPhee as part of her book tour of Omega Farm!
The long-awaited memoir from an award-winning novelist --- a candid, riveting account of her complicated, bohemian childhood and her return home to care for her ailing mother.
In March 2020, Martha McPhee, her husband, and their two almost-grown children set out for her childhood home in New Jersey, where she finds herself grappling simultaneously with a mother slipping into severe dementia and a house that’s been neglected of late. As Martha works to manage her mother’s care and the sprawling, ramshackle property --- a broken septic system, invasive bamboo, dying ash trees --- she is pulled back into her childhood, almost against her will.
Martha grew up at Omega Farm with her four sisters, five stepsiblings, mother, and stepfather, in a house filled with art, people, and the kind of chaos that was sometimes benevolent, sometimes more sinister. Caring for her mother and her children, struggling to mend the forest, the past relentlessly asserts itself --- even as Martha’s mother, the person she might share her memories with or even try to hold to account, no longer knows who Martha is.
A masterful exploration of a complicated family legacy and a powerful story of environmental and personal repair, OMEGA FARM is a testament to hope in the face of suffering, and a courageous tale about how returning home can offer a new way to understand the past.
MARTHA McPHEE is the author of the novels An Elegant Woman, Dear Money, L’America, Gorgeous Lies, and Bright Angel Time. Her work has been honored with fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2002 she was nominated for a National Book Award. Her novels have been Best Books of The Year on The New York Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune lists. Her essays and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Newark Star Ledger, Vogue, More, Harper’s Bazaar, Self, Traveler, Travel & Leisure, among many others. McPhee is a tenured member of the English Department at Hofstra University, where she teaches fiction. She lives in New York City with her children and husband, the poet and writer Mark Svenvold.