Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Marvelous Garden of Words--Blogging for Patry Francis

If you don't know Patry Francis, go immediately to her blog, simply wait, and experience some of the liveliest and most elegant prose on the Internet. Then come back here and order The Liar's Diary, her first novel, which has just come out in paperback. When The Liar's Diary was published in hardback last year, Patry and her many friends set up "Liar's Parties" across the nation to promote the book. Last fall, we learned that Patry had been diagnosed with a particularly aggreressive form of cancer. After two surgeries and continuing therapy, her prognosis looks good. But she's in no condition to do a book promotion.

Karen Dionne of Backspace Writers' Conference came up with the idea of bloggers promoting the book on their sites. And if anybody deserves our support, it's Patry. To give you an idea of what kind of person she is, take a look at her blog. Instead of focusing on herself, she tells us stories about her interaction with others--the seemingly obnoxious woman who gave a lesson to Patry and to all of us, the wonderful tale of her baby grandson Hank breaking the tension of an oncologist's waiting room. Or just the view of the city of Boston from her Massachusetts General Hospital waiting room. She portrayed that wintry urban skyline as The Marvelous Garden.

When I first discovered Patry's blog more than two years ago, it was called The Marvelous Garden. I've always thought of that as an apt title for her range of writing, though I understand why she's gone back to her original title, simply wait. (She changed long before she was diagnosed with cancer.)

The Liar's Diary has memorable characters, suspense, and what one writer called one of the most unreliable narrators in fiction. After reading it a year ago, I still think of Jeanne and Ali, and Jeannes's troubled son Jamie.

The Amazon.com link to her book is here. For Amazon.com uk, click here.
Amazon.com Canada has it here. And if you're looking for the Liar's Diary (Tagebuch einer Lügnerin) auf deutsch, hier.

One more thing about Patry: She sent me an encouraging comment on my Dickens Challenge project from her hospital room! That's the kind of person she is.


Lisa said...

She is absolutely a rare and wonderful soul, and the book is just great. I still think about her characters sometimes. Lovely post, Steve.

Peter said...

Steve, you describe her quite well. She is as generous as any blogger I know. Her comments are as thoughtful and as generous as her writing.

My wife bought The Liar's Diary and really enjoyed it.

Sustenance Scout said...

Love that Patry story, Steve. It's surprising yet completely consistent; she's just that type of person. I've commented on my blog and elsewhere that because of Patry and Simply Wait I've been introduced to a number of wonderful on-line friends over the past two years, you among them! She really is a gem. K.

Julie at Virtual Journey said...

I read some of her background on lisa's, Steve, - amazing life story.

Charles Gramlich said...

She certainly seems to be a very nice and strong person.

Tea N. Crumpet said...

I am so blessed by the people I have met on the internet-- thank you Steve! Not just for sending us to Patry, but for your encouraging and thoughtful words!

I'll be buying her book from your link this week!