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Join the Lab for a conversation with Ellen Cooney, author of this novel centered on the work of a chaplain and informed by Cooney’s life. From the publisher:
“I believe in expecting light. That’s my job.”
A hospital chaplain offers compassion to her patients over the course of an eventful night shift, and finds some for herself, too.
The young interfaith chaplain is joined on her hospital rounds one night by an unusual companion: a rough-and-tumble dog who may or may not be a ghost. As she tends to the souls of her patients—young and old, living last moments or navigating fundamentally altered lives—their stories provide unexpected healing for her own heartbreak.
Balancing wonder and mystery with pragmatism and humor, Ellen Cooney has written a generous, intelligent novel that grants the most challenging moments of the human experience a shimmer of light and magical possibility.
We will be joined by:
Ellen Cooney was born in Clinton, Massachusetts in 1952. She is the author of ten novels, most recently One Night Two Souls Went Walking. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Literary Review, New England Review, and many other journals, and were listed several times in Best American Short Stories. She has received fellowships in creative writing from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. Now retired from over twenty-five years of teaching, she was a writer in residence at MIT, and also taught classes and workshops at Boston College, Harvard Extension School, the Seminars at Radcliffe, and Northeastern University, and as visiting writer at Holy Cross College and the University of Maine at Farmington. She left Massachusetts for midcoast Maine at the time of her teaching retirement, and writes full-time at her home on the Phippsburg peninsula. Her new novel, A Cowardly Woman No More, will be published in April by Coffee House Press.