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Best of the Book Nook: Girl in Hyacinth Blue, by Susan Vreeland

Over the years that I have been reading books and listening to music I have found that the creative processes of writing fiction and writing music have something in common when it comes down to preserving the literature or music which is being created; some authors have just one really great book to write and some musicians have just one really great album to record. Life is funny that way. I suppose that these creative people sometimes get all their really good stuff out in just that one package. Or perhaps after they have done it once they will spend the rest of their lives trying to do it again. Like dogs chasing their own tails. They might be unable to catch that magical lightning in the bottle ever again.

Susan Vreeland's second book "Girl in Hyacinth Blue" is one of those magical, once in a lifetime books. After Vreeland published it in hardcover on a small press it got so much buzz because it was such an incredible collection of interlinked stories that it was acquired by a major publisher and reissued in paperback. At the time the Susan came out to our studios in Yellow Springs to record this interview she was on top of the world. The paperback was a best-seller and it was being adapted for a television movie.

In this interview the author describes how she wrote this fiction about an imaginary painting by the Dutch painter Vermeer while she was undergoing treatment for lymphoma. She describes how the appreciation of fine art helped her get through her healing process. Vreeland died last year. Sometimes I get lucky and I'm able to interview an author about one magical, once in a lifetime book. If I'm really fortunate the interview contains some of that magic, too. This interview was one of those. Magical.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library,  Clark County Public LibraryDayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.