Visitation StreetAfter several stellar reviews, holds are rising on Ivy Pochoda’s second book, Visitation Street, (HarperCollins/Ecco/Dennis Lehane Books; Thorndike Large Print), released last month. The New York Times Book Review‘s mystery columnist Marilyn Stasio calls it a “powerfully beautiful novel” that brings to life the neighborhood it is set in, Red Hook, Brooklyn, through the eyes of “people from the neighborhood — diverse characters who are vibrantly, insistently alive.”

It happens that Red Hook is very close to EarlyWord’s “World Headquarters,” so it may seem natural that we are fans. But as specific as the setting is, it has a wider resonance. As the Miami Herald writes, “…what’s most haunting is [Pochoda’s] searing, all-too-familiar portrait of a community bitterly divided by the usual suspects of American unrest — race, poverty, culture, drugs. Her Red Hook is alive and not well, a place ruled by real and artificial boundaries, a city of flesh and blood and failed dreams.”

Ivy recently recorded an interview with HarperCollins Library Marketer, Annie Mazes (watch out Susan Stamberg; Annie’s giggle is even more infectious than yours). It opens with photos from the EarlyWord/GalleyChat tour held during BEA, and sponsored by HarperCollins. From the description of the neighborhood in the reviews, you might not think that Red Hook would be a good place for tourists, but its position on the NY Harbor makes for spectacular views. Also, Pochoda’s book portrays a community just beginning to gentrify. That is now in full swing, with an upscale chocolate factory and even a winery. (Thanks to Robin Beerbower, Salem [OR] Public Library, for the photos — more here, with quotes from the book).

The next GalleyChat is tomorrow, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 4 to 5 p.m. ET (details on how to join are here).

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