An Evening of Story and Song: Historical Novelist Janet Beard in Conversation with Songwriter Parker MacDonell!

Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 7:00pm
Gramercy Books
2424 East Main Street
Bexley, OH 43209

Join internationally bestselling author of The Atomic City Girls, Janet Beard, for the launch of her provocative new novel, The Ballad of Laurel Springs, which sets the resonant violence of family secrets to the music of the mountains. Noted songwriter Parker MacDonell, who will be in conversation with Janet, will perform some of the music imbued in the novel.

Registration for this in-person event is limited and tickets are $10 on Eventbrite. For those buying Janet’s book ($29, which includes tax), that admission fee is waived.  Registration closes at 6:00 pm on the day of the event.

To ensure the safety for all, Gramercy Books requires proof of vaccination, or a recent negative COVID-19 test, to attend in-store events. Masks are required of all attendees per City of Bexley mandate, regardless of vaccination status. There will be a reduced seating capacity.

Beard’s new novel tells the alluring story of multiple generations of women in one East Tennessee family haunted by violence and redeemed by their rich inheritance of folk music.

Ten-year-old Grace is in search of a subject for her fifth-grade history project when she learns that her four times-great grandfather once stabbed his lover to death. His grisly act was memorialized in a murder ballad, her aunt tells her, so it must be true. But the lessons of that revelation—to be careful of men, and desire—are not just Grace’s to learn. Her family’s tangled past is part of a dark legacy in which the lives of generations of women are affected by the violence immortalized in folksongs like “Knoxville Girl” and “Pretty Polly” reminding them always to know their place—or risk the wages of sin.

Janet Beard’s stirring novel, informed by her love of these haunting ballads, vividly imagines these women, defined by the secrets they keep, the surprises they uncover, and the lurking sense of menace that follows them throughout their lives. With the same rich sense of place as Bloodroot or SerenaThe Ballad of Laurel Springs is an unforgettable portrait of women fighting to make a safe place in the world for themselves and the people they love. 

Born and raised in East Tennessee, Janet Beard studied screenwriting at NYU and went on to earn an MFA in creative writing from The New School. She is the bestselling author of The Atomic City Girls and The Ballad of Laurel Springs.

Parker MacDonell, a Managing Director at Rev1 Ventures in Columbus and a seasoned financial services and business executive, is also a singer/songwriter who performs with his band and releases recordings of original songs. He holds an undergraduate degree in music from Dartmouth College and a Master’s Degree in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management.