English Author To Speak in Upstate New York on WW1 Novel

Author Elizabeth Speller

Author Elizabeth Speller

Novelist Elizabeth Speller will travel from England to Syracuse, NY, in March 2015 to speak on her 2013 novel The First of July (published in the UK as At Break of Day).  “CNY Reads One Book”, a program sponsored by the Onondaga County Public Library and various community partners, will host Ms. Speller on March 22 at the Onondaga County War Memorial.  Under the program, members of the public are encouraged read selected books and engage with the authors.

At Break of Day

The First of July is novel centering on four characters from widely different backgrounds who are brought together in France on the fateful morning of July 1, 1916 – the calamitous first day of the Battle of the Somme –  an event which, perhaps more than any other, shaped Britain’s collective memory of World War 1.  “This is a novel about bicycles and coffin-making, the heyday of the great London department stores, and a hospital run entirely by women” explains Author Elizabeth Speller.  “It explores French river navigation, church organs, pigeons, international politics and early film, and finds philandering, friendship, deception, duty, and the terrifyingly random operation of fate.   A story of a young century with old grievances and young men and women with plans and hopes. It is a journey through music heard as colour, and, perhaps inevitably, about doubt and love and loss. It is also about war. Specifically war on a single day: the middle day of the year in the middle year of the Great War. As July 1st 1916 unfolds into the worst ever disaster in British military history, the lives and hopes of four men collide over a few desperate hours.”

Elizabeth Speller has authored four books along with numerous poems.  To learn more on her writings, visit her website here.

To learn more on  the “CNY Reads One Book” program on March 22, see the Syracuse.com story here.