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Maile Meloy, author of 'The Apothecary'

From: KUFM - Montana Public Radio
Series: The Write Question
Length: 29:04

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Maile Meloy is best known for her short stories and novels for adult readers. But during this program she talks about a novel she wrote for middle readers called The Apothecary. Read the full description.

Theapothecary_small It’s 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London.  There, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and becomes fascinated by his son, Benjamin Burrows—a boy who isn’t afraid to stand up to authority and who dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin’s father disappears, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary’s ancient book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping those secrets out of the hands of Russian spies. Discovering transformative elixirs they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending nuclear disaster. The Apothecary is Meloy's first for young readers. 

Maile Meloy is the author of the story collection Half in Love, the novels Liars and Saints and A Family Daughter, and the story collection Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It, which was named one of the Ten Best Books of 2009 by The New York Times Book Review and a best book of the year by the Los Angeles Times and Amazon.com.  It also won the California Book Awards Silver Medal for Fiction.  Meloy’s stories have been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, and other publications, and she has received The Paris Review’s Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award, the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.  In 2007, she was chosen as one of Granta’s 21 Best Young American Novelists. She grew up in Helena, Montana, and now lives in Los Angeles.

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Piece Description

It’s 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London.  There, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and becomes fascinated by his son, Benjamin Burrows—a boy who isn’t afraid to stand up to authority and who dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin’s father disappears, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary’s ancient book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping those secrets out of the hands of Russian spies. Discovering transformative elixirs they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending nuclear disaster. The Apothecary is Meloy's first for young readers. 

Maile Meloy is the author of the story collection Half in Love, the novels Liars and Saints and A Family Daughter, and the story collection Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It, which was named one of the Ten Best Books of 2009 by The New York Times Book Review and a best book of the year by the Los Angeles Times and Amazon.com.  It also won the California Book Awards Silver Medal for Fiction.  Meloy’s stories have been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, and other publications, and she has received The Paris Review’s Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award, the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.  In 2007, she was chosen as one of Granta’s 21 Best Young American Novelists. She grew up in Helena, Montana, and now lives in Los Angeles.

Timing and Cues

music bed from 15:56 to 16:30

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