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. The novel includes both past and present day scenes from 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. It was really interesting to hear him speak about it and read passages from it. 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. 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. Overall, it was a really awesome experience, and I’m really glad I had the opportunity to go.