In conversation with Naomi Shihab Nye
Rescheduled Virtual Event
Critically acclaimed author Paulette Jiles returns to Texas in Simon the Fiddler, an atmospheric story set at the end of the Civil War about an itinerant fiddle player, a ragtag band of musicians with whom he travels trying to make a living, and the charming young Irish lass who steals his heart.
In March 1865 the long and bitter War between the States is winding down. Till now, 23-year old Simon Boudlin has evaded militaty duty, but following a barroom brawl in Victoria, Texas, Simon finds himself conscripted into a regimental band in the Confederate Army. On the eve of the Confederate surrender, Simon and his bandmates are called to play for officers and their families from both sides of the conflict. There he can't help but notice the lovely Doris Mary Aherne, an indentured girl from Ireland who is governess to a Union colonel's daughter.
Incandescent in its beauty and told in Jiles's trademark spare yet lilting style, Simon the Fiddler is a captivating, bittersweet tale of the chances a devoted man will take, and the lengths he will go to fulfill his heart’s yearning.
Paulette Jiles is a novelist, poet, and memoirist. She is the author of the memoir Cousins and the novels Enemy Women, Stormy Weather, The Color of Lightning, Lighthouse Island, and News of the World, which was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award and is being made into a film starring Tom Hanks (release date around Christmas 2020). She lives on a ranch near San Antonio, where she cares for horses and a menagerie of animals.