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Thomas E. Kennedy reading in Portland, April 4

Thomas E. Kennedy, an American living in Copenhagen, will be coming to Portland as part of his U.S. book tour for the release of the second novel in his Copenhagen Quartet, Falling Sideways (Bloomsbury, March 2011). Kennedy will be reading at Powell’s Hawthorne Bookstore, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd. on Monday, 7:30 p.m., April 4. Kennedy is no stranger to Oregon having done reading in Portland, La Grande and Enterprise and conducted a fiction workshop at Eastern Oregon University. He’s published four books with Wordcraft of Oregon, most recently the novel, A  Passion in the Desert (2007), a finalist for Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award in Literary Fiction. He has also been a contributor to the Portland literary journal, Glimmer Train.


The first novel in the Quartet, In The Company of Angels received wide acclaim from, among others, the Washington Post, New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and, in England, The Times, Guardian and elsewhere. In The Company of Angels is now available in paperback (January 2011). Kennedy has published eight novels, three story collections, four books of essays and four books of literary criticism in addition to editing several anthologies. Hundreds of short stories, personal essays and literary criticism have appeared in magazines and journals and he has won an O. Henry Award, Pushcart Prize, Gulf Coast, and European Prizes, the Charles Angoff Award and the Frank Expatriate Writing Award and two Eric Hoffer Book Awards. An essay published in New Letters received a National Magazine Award—winning over the finalist essays from the New Yorker, Atlantic, Harper’s, Elle, and Entertainment Weekly. In 2007, Kennedy’s work was celebrated in a panel during the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) annual conference with presentations by six professors, editors and writers. All of the presentations were later published in literary magazines and South Carolina Review devoted two issues to Kennedy’s work.

Kennedy has lived in Denmark for more than thirty years, but often visits the United States where he teaches in the low-residency MFA program of Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Kennedy will also be reading in Seattle at University Bookstore, 4326 University Way NE, 7 p.m, April 5 and in San Francisco at The Booksmith, 1644 Haight Street, 7 p.m. on April 6.

About Falling Sideways :

The Tank, a high-profile firm in Copenhagen, has just announced a period of downsizing, and the game playing has begun.

Top executive Frederick Breathwaite is frantically trying to ensure a foothold on the career ladder for his son Jes. Harald Jaeger, estranged from his wife and daughters, harbours desperate passions for an alarming number of women but has somehow managed to catch the CEO’s eye – as a possible replacement for Breathwaite. Meanwhile the CEO’s son Adam should be following in his father’s alpha-male footsteps but instead is head-over-heels in puppy love with his au pair. And in a nearby shoe repair shop, Jes, who personally can’t imagine anything worse than his father’s corporate life, is pursuing a very different kind of future.

As the city settles into autumn, a season of brittle days and foreboding nights, the impending downsizing causes a ripple effect that touches not just every employee in the Tank but their spouses, children and lovers as well. Sharp, funny and remarkably tender, Falling Sideways is a shrewdly observed tale of ambition and anxiety, of backstabbing and backsliding, and of office politics and family affairs.

Advance reviews:

“A clever spoof about work and the relationships formed there.”Kirkus Reviews

“Kennedy’s force is his ear for good dialogue, those understated conversations between irony and intimacy of which Anglo-Saxon and Irish literature have always been world champion.   And the book is also a novel about love.”            -Bo Tao Michaélis, Politiken (Copenhagen)

“…a whirlwind of intense, rich language and a poetic vision of the things that really matter in a man’s life.” – South Carolina Review

Link to Minneapolis Star-Tribune review of Falling Sideways.

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