Author Update | Emily Wing Smith and The Way He Lived

A young author earned her wings tonight. TKE hosted Emily Wing Smith for the debut reading of her young adult novel, The Way He Lived (Flux, $9.95); a beautiful story about a young man’s death recounted from six people’s perspectives. Reading briefly from the section told by one of the young man’s sisters, Smith’s nuanced use of language and setting had the audience completely captivated. When asked about whether her editor had asked her to make the story more generic (i.e. less small town Mormon) Smith’s response was no, and in fact, her editor and others told her the book could have been even more specific. Laughing, she told the audience an anecdote about hearing David Almond lecture that the small details of a book are what make the world at large able to relate to the story. Her literature professor informed her that Aristotle was actually the first to have put that idea forth. Funny, self-deprecating, and smart are all words that came to mind as I listened to Smith. We were delighted to hear that her next book is under contract with Penguin; she is going to be an author to watch.

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