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Former Westporter Returns Home To Promote 'Startling' Debut YA Novel

Author and former Westport resident Robert Wilder will return to town Thursday to promote his debut young adult novel.
Author and former Westport resident Robert Wilder will return to town Thursday to promote his debut young adult novel. Photo Credit: contributed

WESTPORT, Conn. -- Robert Wilder -- a former Westport resident and author of the irreverent "Tales from the Teachers' Lounge" and "Daddy Needs a Drink" -- will discuss his newest novel, "Nickel," at the Westport Library on Thursday.

"Nickel" is Wilder's first young adult novel. Augusten Burroughs, the New York Times best-selling author of "Running with Scissors," will introduce him.

"No one has ever written about the pains of being a teenager -- physically and psychologically, inside and out -- quite like Robert Wilder in his startling debut novel," Burroughs said. "He has created indelible characters in Monroe and Coy -- funny and sad and strong and broken -- and 'Nickel' is about as real as it gets."

As the description notes,

Being a teenager is hard enough without your mother in rehab and your slightly inept stepfather doing his best not to screw things up. But at least Coy has Monroe. Coy is a quirky teenage boy, and his best friend, Monroe, is a girl who is just as odd and funny and obsessed with '80s culture as he is. So when Monroe comes down with a mysterious illness, his inner turmoil only grows.

As Monroe gets sicker and Coy gets a girlfriend from another social crowd, the balance tips, and Coy has to figure out how not to give up on his friend, his family, or himself. 'Nickel' is a hilarious, heartbreaking and honest portrayal of the complicated world of being a teenager

The novel is a Booklist Best Young Adult Book of 2016, and its review noted that "Wilder powers his classic coming-of-age narrative with a ferocious storytelling voice ... a humorous, poignant and formidable debut."

A teacher for 25 years, Wilder has earned numerous awards and fellowships, including the inaugural Innovations in Reading Prize by the National Book Foundation. He's also published essays in Newsweek, Salon, Parenting and Creative Nonfiction, and he has been a commentator for NPR's "Morning Edition."

Copies of "Nickel" will be available for purchase and signing at the event, which is free and open to the public. The author talk will begin at 7 p.m. For more information, call the library at 203-291-4800.

The library is at 20 Jesup Road. To keep up-to-date on library events, visit its webpage or follow it on Facebook or Twitter.

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