General"you have not lived a perfect day...unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you." - ruth smeltzer
"be the change you want to see in the world." - mahatma gandhi
"and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." - marianne williamson
Musicnicole atkins and the sea, lauryn hill, daby toure, cameron mcgill, chuck brown and the soul searchers, steve earle, gogol bordello, ben folds, lucinda williams, dmx, gipsy kings, jeff buckley, terra naomi, john hiatt, the fairfield four, puccini, system of a down, regina spektor, public enemy, pete yorn, freddie mercury
Bookswilliam maxwell, tim o'brien, homer, dave eggers, denis johnson, khaled hosseini, janet fitch, neil gaiman, carson mccullers, george saunders, aimee bender, jean toomer, david sedaris, j.m. coetzee, nicole krauss, gabriel garcia marquez, etheridge knight, virgil
Heroesdesmond tutu, troy polamalu, viktor frankl, nelson mandela, robert sobukwe
Advanced praise for UP FROM THE BLUE:
Susan Henderson’s UP FROM THE BLUE deftly portrays a family with contradictions we can all relate to—it’s beautiful and maddening, hopeful and condemning, simple, yet like a knot that takes a lifetime to untangle. This is a book that you will love completely, even as it hurts you. It is a heartbreaking, rewarding story that still haunts me. I absolutely loved this book…gushingly, unequivocally, loved it.
—Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET
Susan Henderson's debut novel UP FROM THE BLUE is elegant and engrossing. Like a modern-day Scout, Henderson's child narrator Tillie Harris is both tender and tough, charming and filled with wonder by the difficulties she must overcome. Henderson is a talent to watch.
- Danielle Trussoni, author of Angelology and Falling Through the Earth (chosen by The New York Times as one of the Ten Best Books of 2006)
In this extraordinary first novel, a young girl forced to live within the regimented world of her military father discovers the darkness behind his austere existence. Her secret, nighttime life, spent inside a basement chamber straight out of Jung, conjures the no-man’s-land between madness and sanity. With its authentic and startling imagery, Henderson’s story glimpses the darkness of the heart as well as the rays of light that manage to shine through.
- Kim Ponders, author of The Art of Uncontrolled Flight and The Last Blue Mile
A luminous debut. Henderson explores the emotional tremors of a troubled military family in a story layered with shock, revelation--and hope.
- Dylan Landis, author of Normal People Don't Live Like This
Susan Henderson makes real the magic and terror of childhood with such vivid uncanny accuracy that I can almost imagine being a child again. She takes readers back into the world of children like no other writer today—without cloying sentimentality, and without the wild hysteria of memoir. Funny, smart, innocent, and wicked, her narrator is one of the most memorable voices to show up in fiction in ages.
—Jim Daniels, Pushcart and Brittingham Prize winner, and author of No Pets, Detroit Tales, Places/Everyone, Punching Out, M-80, Niagara Falls, Blessing this House, Blue Jesus, Night With Drive-by Shooting Stars, Digger's Blues, Show and Tell: New and Selected Poems, Letters to America: Contemporary American Poetry on Race
UP FROM THE BLUE is a bejeweled tale of mother and daughter, longing and understanding, all ripe with the antics of a brilliantly imagined girl named Tillie. Dark and sweet like a wild cherry Lifesaver, Henderson’s prose makes our hearts pucker, while enchanting our minds long after the story is done.
- Amy Wallen, author of MoonPies and Movie Stars (Los Angeles Times bestseller)
Tillie Harris, Susan Henderson’s courageous young heroine, is vibrant and true. Her voice fills the pages of UP FROM THE BLUE with a bittersweet song of innocence and longing as she navigates her way through her perilous life—a life dominated by her mother’s desperate unhappiness and her father’s frustrations. I wanted to hold Tillie tight then release her with a smile, so I could watch her set the world on fire with her hard-won wisdom and sparkling energy.
- Laura Benedict, author of Isabella Moon and Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts
UP FROM THE BLUE is a rare literary page-turner full of shocking discoveries and twists. Susan Henderson has created a remarkable narrator – as memorable for her feistiness as for her tenderness. UP FROM THE BLUE is going to be one of this year's major debuts.
- Josh Kilmer-Purcell, author of I Am Not Myself These Days (NY Times bestseller) and Candy Everybody Wants
Here, finally, is a contemporary writer willing to embrace the pathos, the ache, the hunger of human life in fiction that's luminous and moving and transformative. In the character of Tillie, Susan Henderson pursues the shadows of childhood without allowing herself to be obliterated by the potential, there, for darkness; her fictional creations are beautifully flawed and hence gorgeously human. For me, Susan Henderson is one of the most important writers to come along since Carson McCullers. Like McCullers, she turns her eye upon the sadness, the poignancy, and the grotesqueries of our world, evokes them with a keen and unswerving vision that is tempered only by understanding and love. A remarkable writer...and a brilliant one.
— Terri Brown-Davidson, assistant editor at Zoetrope: All-Story and author of Marie Marie, Hold on Tight and The Carrington Monologues
Using perfect prose as a weapon, Sue Henderson's UP FROM THE BLUE burrows into you, so that if you put the book down, you will soon feel compelled to pick it back up, and when you have read the final word, you realize that you will carry this story with you for the foreseeable future.
—John Warner, editor of McSweeney's Internet Tendency and co-editor with Dave Eggers of Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans, contributor to The Future Dictionary of America, and co-author with Kevin Guilfoile of My First Presidentiary: A Scrapbook by George W. Bush, and Fondling Your Muse
I would love to be able to talk about Susan Henderson's book, UP FROM THE BLUE, without using the word "awesome." But the truth is, I can't do it. I'm in awe of the big-hearted love of a daughter for her mother. I'm in awe of the all-too-human Tillie with her brilliant imperfections, with her truth-telling, with her outrageous simplicity. I'm in awe of the breadth and scope of this book. I'm in awe of how Susan Henderson makes it seem as if there's nothing small in the world. I know you'll agree. UP FROM THE BLUE is no less than awesome.
—Terry Bain, O. Henry award-winner and author of You Are a Dog: Life Through the Eyes of Man's Best Friend
Susan Henderson deftly conjures that surreal kingdom known as childhood, a realm teeming with tactile mysteries, hourly epiphanies and ineffable longing. Tillie is as brave and winning a narrator as we could wish for, caught in a painful intimacy with her disturbed mother, but also embarking on the necessary adventure of defiance. UP FROM THE BLUE is a wonderful book, always evocative and often funny, fashioned with a delicate touch and a riddler's humor.
—M. Allen Cunningham, author of The Green Age of Asher Witherow
Susan Henderson writes with the sort of honesty, clarity, and attention to detail that makes you forget for a moment that you are reading fiction or even reading at all. It is a sign of the greatest level of art: to erase the artifice that separates the reader from the experience. The stories in this book do this with admirable skill, creating a world of vivid sadness and beauty.
—Grant Bailie, author of Cloud 8
In luminous, economical prose, Susan Henderson tells the story of Tillie, a lonely child in a family of loners, doing her best to please her high-ranking Pentagon scientist father, her literary, unstable mother and her scornful older brother, all of whom have secrets she wants only to understand. She grows before our eyes in deft, layered chapters that are at once painful and funny. Neglected and demanded too much of, eager to please and rebellious in equal measure, Tillie embodies the very spirit of late twentieth-century America, and we can't help but love her. Indeed, Henderson's greatest gift to the reader—and there are many— is the evidence that love, though it surely does not conquer all, makes forgiveness possible and hope inevitable.
—Maryanne Stahl, author of Forgive the Moon and The Opposite Shore
Riveting! Bravo to Susan Henderson for plumbing the depths of this complex family dynamic with prose that elevates and inspires. UP FROM THE BLUE is a treasure.
—Ellen Meister, author of The Smart One and Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA
- Dec 9, 2010 6:51 PM UP FROM THE BLUE makes the Top 10 Books of 2010 list!
- Sep 22, 2010 7:14 PM UP FROM THE BLUE goes on sale today!
- Sep 6, 2010 1:38 AM LitPark Question of the Month: Launch
- Aug 20, 2010 2:02 AM TNB3.0: Mistakes That Changed Us
- Aug 20, 2010 2:00 AM TNB3.0: The Writers Community at Squaw Valley
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SUSAN HENDERSON's debut novel from HarperCollins, UP FROM THE BLUE, is on sale! You can order it here.
About the book:
Tillie Harris's life is in disarray—her husband is away on business, the boxes in her new home aren't unpacked, and the telephone isn't even connected yet. Though she's not due for another month, sudden labor pains force Tillie to reach out to her estranged father for help, a choice that means facing the painful memories she's been running from since she was a little girl.
An extraordinary debut from a talented new voice, Up from the Blue untangles the year in Tillie's life that changed everything: 1975, the year her mother disappeared.
"[An] elegant debut…Henderson’s fascinating novel fearlessly examines the complexities of depression, romantic and filial love, and motherhood. Beautiful, funny, sad, and complicated....” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Henderson shows remarkable compassion in her debut novel, an affecting portrait of depression through a child’s eyes.” —Booklist
“Rapturous prose.... A triumphant debut.” —Library Journal
"Susan Henderson’s UP FROM THE BLUE deftly portrays a family with contradictions we can all relate to—it’s beautiful and maddening, hopeful and condemning, simple, yet like a knot that takes a lifetime to untangle. This is a book that you will love completely, even as it hurts you. It is a heartbreaking, rewarding story that still haunts me. I absolutely loved this book…gushingly, unequivocally, loved it." —Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET
Susan is Curator of NPR’s newest literary venture, "DimeStories," produced by Jay Allison (of "This I Believe"), and is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets award and grants from The Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation and The Lojo Foundation. Her work has—twice—been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Publications include Zoetrope, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, North Dakota Quarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, South Dakota Review, The MacGuffin, Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies (nominated for a Pushcart Prize, 2004), North Atlantic Review, The Green Hills Literary Lantern, Opium, Other Voices, Amazon Shorts (nominated for a Pushcart Prize, 2006), The World Trade Center Memorial, The Future Dictionary of America (McSweeney’s Books, 2004), The Best American Non-Required Reading (Houghton Mifflin, 2007), Not Quite What I Was Planning (HarperPerennial, 2008), and Online Writing: The Best of the First Ten Years (Snowvigate Press, 2009). She blogs at LitPark.com, and occasionally at Huffington Post and Brad Listi’s The Nervous Breakdown. Her husband is a costume designer, filmmaker, and tenured drama professor. They live in NY with their two boys.
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Some good books written by family members:
I have video of my kids horsing around at open mic over on YouTube. Just click to see them playing The Allman Brothers, Queen, Clapton, The Beatles, The Who, and Pink Floyd. And here's my little keyboardest playing The Doors with The School of Rock. Enjoy!
Someone to check out:
I hope you'll check out the website of my amazingly talented friend, Tommy Kane, who is responsible for these:
Who I'd like to meet:authors, editors, booksellers, comedians, songwriters, people who love books, people who interest me for one reason or another--all are welcome here.
.. I edited my profile with Thomas' Myspace Editor V4.4
- Status: Married
- Zodiac Sign: Aries
- Children: Proud parent
- Education: Grad / professional school
1989 to 1992
- Graduated: 1992
- Degree: Master's Degree
- Major: Human Development Counseling
Carnegie Mellon University
1985 to 1989
- Graduated: 1989
- Degree: Bachelor's Degree
- Major: Creative Writing
publisher: Harper Collins
- NY, NY US
agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House
- NY, NY US