I recently had the privilege to see best selling author and Connecticut native, Wally Lamb, speak at The Hartford’s Wallace Stevens Theater about his recent novel, The Hour I First Believed, and it’s use of the Mark Twain House in honor of the Mark Twain Centennial Celebration.Â Â The novel includes both past and present day scenes fromÂ the home.
While I’ve been a long time fan and have read some of the other works by Lamb, I have yet to read The Hour I First Believed, but after hearing him speak about the novel I am definitely adding it to my list.Â Â It was really interesting to hear him speak about it and read passages from it.Â I found it particularly fascinating that he was able to write about so many very different events – such as Hurricane Katrina and the shootings at Columbine High School – and Mark Twain in the same book!
Lamb also spoke a bit about the work he did with the women at York Correctional Institute in Niantic, CT in the writing program he headed for them, which eventually lead to a collection of some of their stories that he edited, entitled Couldn’t Keep It to Myself . It was really quite interesting and touching.Â This is definitely another book for me to add to my ever-growing list.
At the end of the event, he did a brief Q&A with the audience and spoke a bit about his writing process, which can be slow going and at times a bit torturous. Â Overall, it was a really awesome experience, and I’m really glad I had the opportunity to go.