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Invite an Author

Every month, we highlight an author in an initiative called "BCCLS Invite an Author". Many of these authors are happy to visit BCCLS libraries to chat with your book clubs or present programs either in person or via Skype. You can email them directly for more information or to schedule a library visit.

Previous Authors

January 2015

Pam Jenoff

Photo © Beowulf Sheehan.


Matthew Thomas


    matthewthomasauthor @




Letter of Introduction:

Dear Colleagues:

What a superb way to start off the new year!

Our Invite an Author has received amazing reviews for his debut novel and I am over the moon that he has agreed to be our Mr. January.

It is with great pleasure that I present Matthew Thomas as BCCLS Invite an Author for January 2015.

In case the name isn’t familiar, take a look in the BCCLS catalog. As I write this, of the 97 copies of his book in our libraries, 2 are available. Of the 12 audiobooks on CD, none are available. Of the two we own as downloadable audiobooks, none are available and five ebooks are on order.

Matthew Thomas has a BA from the University of Chicago, an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. His New York Times-bestselling debut novel We Are Not Ourselves was shortlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize and longlisted for both the Guardian First Book Award and the Folio Prize. It was named a Notable Book of 2014 by the New York Times, as well as one of the top fifty best fiction books of the year by the Washington Post, one of the ten best books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, one of the five most important books of the year by Esquire, and one of Janet Maslin’s ten favorite books of the year in the New York Times.

Lots of high praise for a first novel, huh?

On We Are Not Ourselves:

"Starred Review. This epic and emotionally draining novel is centered on the life of Eileen Tumulty who lives in Queens, NY, in the mid-20th century... VERDICT The debut author has created a memorable character in Eileen, who is both intelligent and clueless, focusing on her ideals and fantasies and attempting vainly to make reality conform to her aspirations. The depiction of Ed's illness is realistic, powerful, artistically delivered, and occasionally humorous, and readers will be drawn in."

Library Journal

"In his powerful and significant debut novel, Thomas masterfully evokes one woman's life in the context of a brilliantly observed Irish working-class milieu...Thomas's emotional truthfulness combines with the novel's texture and scope to create an unforgettable narrative."

Publishers Weekly

"...Written in calm, polished prose, following one family as its members journey through the decades in an American landscape that is itself in flux, it’s a long, gorgeous epic, full of love and life and caring. It’s even funny, in places — and it’s one of the best novels you’ll read this year."

Sunday Book Review, New York Times, September 5, 2014 by Maggie Scarf

I don’t say it often, but when I do, I am very serious. Invite Matthew Thomas to your library before he becomes too ‘big’ for local library visits. My prediction is that his will be a significant name in American fiction. You can contact him directly at matthewthomasauthor @

On behalf of all of us at 810 Main, my warmest wishes for a very happy, healthy, and productive 2015 filled with happy readers, wonderful programs, stable budgets, supportive boards, and great books (in every format and for every age).

Warmest regards,