Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 7:30pm

The Booksmith and the San Francisco Writers Grotto Present

Writing About the News…While It’s Still Being Made



Dear Money


In this Pygmalion tale of a novelist turned bond trader, National Book Award Finalist Martha McPhee brings to life the greed and riotous wealth of New York during the heady days of the second gilded age.


A few years ago, when a legendary bond trader claimed he could transform her into a booming Wall Street success, McPhee toyed with the notion. She considered the money, the tangible success -- but declined the offer and wrote Dear Money instead, using fiction to explore what might have been. This ambitious novel encapsulates a moment in America's recent history, the moment just before the current collapse of the economy.  


Dear Money is a deadly serious, yet deftly witty book in the great American tradition of Edith Wharton, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Theodore Dreiser. McPhee adroitly tackles the age-old issues of wealth, ambition and social status with aplomb. With a light-handed irony that is by turns as measured as Claire Messud and as biting as Tom Wolfe, Martha McPhee tells the classic American story of people reinventing themselves, unaware of the price they must pay for their transformation. 


Martha McPhee is the author of the novels Bright Angel Time, Gorgeous Lies, and L'America. Her work has been honored with fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2002 she was nominated for a National Book Award. Her novels have been Best Books of The Year on New York Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune lists. Her essays and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers including New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Newark Star Ledger, Vogue, More, Harper's Bazaar, Self, Traveler, Travel & Leisure, among many others. She lives in New York City with her children and husband, the poet and writer Mark Svenvold. Martha teaches writing at Hofstra University.


This evening, she’ll be talking about the writing process, writing about money, its challenges, and its pleasures. Writers, would-be writers, and simply readers are all welcome to join this discussion!


Check out Martha's new piece for Business Week about her Wall Street research for Dear Money.