Beth Powning

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Beth Powning

Goodreads Author


Born
The United States
Website

Twitter

Genre

Influences
E. L. Doctorow, teacher and don at Sarah Lawrence College

Member Since
September 2014

URL


Beth Powning was born in Hampton, Connecticut. She attended E.O. Smith High School, and Sarah Lawrence College, where she majored in creative writing. Powning moved to New Brunswick, Canada in 1970.

Powning's work has been widely published in books, anthologies, and magazines. She is known for her lyrical, powerful writing and the profound emotional honesty of her work.

Her latest novel, "The Sister's Tale", will be released by Knopf Canada in both Canada and the US on May 25, 2021. Set in the 1887 maritimes provinces, it includes characters from "The Sea Captain's Wife" and concerns home children, suffragists, and women's rights.

Her 2015 novel, " A Measure of Light", was a Globe and Mail Bestseller, a Globe and Mail Best Book, long-listed
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Popular Answered Questions

Beth Powning Hi Mary,
I came across mention of a 17th century Quaker and what happened to her (spoiler alert! I won't say what it was that intrigued me....) My hair…more
Hi Mary,
I came across mention of a 17th century Quaker and what happened to her (spoiler alert! I won't say what it was that intrigued me....) My hair stood on end, an actual frisson that runs over my scalp. That's a sign that I'm onto something. I don't think it was really any more difficult to write about a real person, since a great deal is NOT known about Mary, and so I was free to invent. The difficulty in writing a historical novel is making sure all the textural details are correct (what KIND of candles?!), as well as all the surrounding greater events. It slows and interrupts the flow of the first draft (you have to keep looking things up!) I learned so much, which is one of the reasons I love setting my novels in the past. Thanks for the questions!(less)
Beth Powning Hi Lori,
That's a great idea. I have had other readers say they were astonished to find the glossary at the end and wished they'd had it. I will most c…more
Hi Lori,
That's a great idea. I have had other readers say they were astonished to find the glossary at the end and wished they'd had it. I will most certainly pass this idea on to my publishers!
I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. I'm working on a new novel right now.
Best wishes,
Beth(less)
Average rating: 3.73 · 2,957 ratings · 484 reviews · 13 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Sea Captain's Wife

3.87 avg rating — 1,922 ratings — published 2010 — 11 editions
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A Measure of Light

3.53 avg rating — 311 ratings — published 2015 — 4 editions
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The Hatbox Letters

3.11 avg rating — 472 ratings — published 2004 — 10 editions
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Home: Chronicle of a North ...

4.30 avg rating — 74 ratings — published 1996 — 6 editions
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Edge Seasons: A Mid-life Year

3.87 avg rating — 53 ratings — published 2005 — 4 editions
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The Sister's Tale

3.98 avg rating — 56 ratings2 editions
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Shadow Child: A Woman's Jou...

3.88 avg rating — 52 ratings — published 2000 — 5 editions
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Hardy Roses: An Organic Gui...

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4.25 avg rating — 8 ratings — published 1991 — 3 editions
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When the Wild Comes Leaping...

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3.61 avg rating — 46 ratings — published 2002 — 6 editions
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Hardy Roses: The Essential ...

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4.50 avg rating — 2 ratings
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More books by Beth Powning…

People of the Book

I loved "People of the Book", as I've loved everything I've read by Geraldine Brooks. Running beneath the narrative of Hanna, a rare book expert, are the true stories behind tiny objects she finds in the binding of an ancient book: a hair, a blood stain, a butterfly wing. From these objects, stories emerge which the reader is privileged to know and Hanna can only guess at. Set in war-torn Sarajevo Read more of this blog post »
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Published on January 17, 2018 08:55

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Beth Powning rated a book it was amazing
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
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The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
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The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
The Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai (Goodreads Author)
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Highly recommend.
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The Overstory by Richard Powers
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A book for our times. Your blood will boil for the fate of trees, as it should.
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The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
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Gripping, well worth settling into for a long afternoon’s immersion.
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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
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Re-read this in order to be up to speed for The Testaments. I saw this novel as a chilling opera done by the Toronto Opera Company.
More of Beth's books…
“Everything waits and moves. Our hearts, beating. The stars, wheeling over the spruce trees.”
Beth Powning, Edge Seasons: A Mid-life Year

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Topics Mentioning This Author

“I see the steam of the chocolate and the plates of blueberry tarts.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory

“Everything waits and moves. Our hearts, beating. The stars, wheeling over the spruce trees.”
Beth Powning, Edge Seasons: A Mid-life Year




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message 2: by Beth

Beth Powning Cider With Rosie
I love this book. It's one I return to when I want to be a child again, seeing the world from that odd, exaggerated, topsy-turvy yet clear perspective.


message 1: by Beth

Beth Powning It's so great when you discover a new author. I've just found Jenna Blum. First I read "the stormchasers"; now I'm catching up on "Those Who Save Us," a book about the holocaust which has just been translated into German. Good reads!


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