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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

July 2012

Joshua Henkin

Photo © Matthew Polis.


   Joshua Henkin



Letter of Introduction:

It is extremely rare that I "Invite an Author" for a second visit but BCCLS' "Mr. July" has received such fabulous reviews for his latest novel, THE WORLD WITHOUT YOU, that he deserves this recognition and lots more.

It is my very great pleasure to announce Joshua Henkin as BCCLS Invite an Author for July 2012.

Joshua Henkin is the author of the novels MATRIMONY, a New York Times Notable Book, and SWIMMING ACROSS THE HUDSON, a Los Angeles Times Notable Book. His new novel, THE WORLD WITHOUT YOU, has just been published by Pantheon. His short stories have been published widely, cited for distinction in BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES, and broadcast on NPR's "Selected Shorts." He lives in Brooklyn, NY, and directs the MFA program in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College.


"Point this one out to contemporary fiction fans of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, or the works of Rick Moody, Richard Russo, Philip Roth, and John Updike."

Library Journal

"The author has created an empathetic cast of characters that the reader will love spending time with, even as they behave like fools and hurt one another. An intelligently written novel that works as a summer read and for any other time of the year."

Publishers Weekly, ***Starred Review***

"When conventionalists claim, 'They don’t write novels like that anymore,' this is the sort of novel they mean. Yet the very familiarity and durability of the setup suggests that the traditional novel remains very much alive and healthy as well, if the narrative momentum and depth of character here are proof of vitality…A novel that satisfies all expectations in some very familiar ways."

Kirkus Reviews, ***Starred Review***

"Joshua Henkin does a masterful job capturing life and turning it into art. This novel feels very real, and it will leave you thinking and reminiscing long after you turn the last page."


"I dutifully acknowledge Leo Tolstoy's famous Anna Karenina chestnut about the distinctive qualities of each unhappy family. But I also propose that it's damn difficult to make the basic unhappy-family novel distinctly one's own. Henkin does so with a one-two combination of strengths: psychological empathy for his realistic characters, and an expository modesty that draws attention away from the skilled writing itself — no showy sentences here, no cadenza-like phrasing — in order to focus, with great care, on the subtleties and complications of familial love."

Entertainment Weekly, (***Lead Review***)

I am happy to see so many copies of THE WORLD WITHOUT YOU in BCCLS libraries (and as of this writing there are eight holds.)

Mr. Henkin’s publisher, Pantheon, has been very generous and sent me copies of THE WORLD WITHOUT YOU so please email me if you’d like to add a copy to your collection. (And how could you not?)

From Mr. Henkin’s website ( "I would be delighted to join your book group discussion, either in person, if you are in driving distance from New York, New Jersey, or Philadelphia, or by phone or Skype. If you are interested in having me participate in your reading group, email"

I think I’ve made my point that Joshua Henkin is someone whose work will make for a lively and profound discussion at your book clubs. He’d be great talking about his writing with your library community, too. I hope you’re all looking at your calendars and emailing him right now to find a date that works for you both.

If I sound excited about Joshua Henkin, I am. He is a BooksNJ alum and someone who has always made himself accessible to our libraries. I would go so far as to say he is anxious to visit our libraries so give him an invite. He’s a good man, a great writer, and an author to watch.

Warmest regards,