There is a brief pause, during which a listener tries to imagine Martin, who's in town for a reading and who appears not to have an exhibitionistic bone in her 59-year-old body, impersonating Lady Godiva or launching herself across the Snake River Canyon.
Well, we thought we'd do our bit to help everyone involved remain clothed, and so we're happy to offer a copy of the novel that The New York Times called "the best kind of moral fiction," and the Los Angeles Times called "breath-stopping.." Here's Sue Halpern:
Over the past 30 years, Valerie Martin’s novels and stories, although well received by critics, have made little dent in the public consciousness. The library at the college where I work has no record of her, for instance, and the local bookstore carries hardly any of her fiction, despite Martin’s receipt of Britain’s prestigious Orange Prize for her 2003 novel, “Property,” which beat out work by stars like Zadie Smith, Carol Shields and Donna Tartt. This is too bad, because Martin deserves a wider audience — but it can also be a delight for the unsuspecting reader. Coming across her for the first time, you experience the frisson of discovery, especially when you learn that she’s written a whole shelf of books, a dozen in all. Martin is an uncompromising, serious writer, concerned with both the eternal verities and what matters right now. She wants to know how the big questions play out in individual lives.
And so, the game remains the same. Send us off an email, subject line "KEEP YER CLOTHES ON," and include your full mailing address. Previous winners ineligible. We'll take all emails until 8 p.m. PST and then we turn to the Random Number Generator for a decision that will make at least one reader and Nan Talese happy. And, really, that's more or less entirely why we're here.
UPDATE: Congratulations to another longtime TEV reader/entrant, Grace Farag of Burbank, CA. We love it when the regulars get lucky!