#72: Behind the Slice Literary Writers’ Conference: An Interview with author Brendan Kiely by Liz Mathews
As we’re gearing up for the Slice Literary Writers’ Conference, happening in downtown Brooklyn on September 12 and 13, we’re excited to introduce you to a few of our panelists. This week, meet Brendan Kiely, author of the debut novel The Gospel of Winter. Chosen as a Kirkus Reviews selection for best of 2014 and one of the American Library Association’s Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults 2015, The Gospel of Winter is the sort of debut novel success story many burgeoning writers can aspire to. Brendan will be on our Social Consciousness in YA Literature panel on Saturday, September 12. You can find the full panel schedule here.
An Interview with Brendan Kiely, by Celia Johnson
New York Times bestselling author Colum McCann describes The Gospel of Winter as “both unflinching and redemptive.” Unflinching is a word that often came to my mind as I read Brendan Kiely’s debut novel. His protagonist, Aidan Donovan, is the victim of sexual abuse. And there are other problems. He dabbles in drugs and is, like most teens, clumsily trying to figure out his own sexuality. Donovan isn’t the only flawed character in Kiely’s book. In fact, none are simply heroes. But therein lies the beauty, at those points when some of his most troubled characters commit truly heroic acts. The Gospel of Winter was published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, a Young Adult imprint at Simon & Schuster, but as I discussed with Kiely, among other things, this book, in its unflinching sophistication, is clearly for adults, too.