When Nancy, whose most recently published work is a medical newsletter, is asked to join the writing group made up of the local literati, she accepts, warily. She’s not at all certain that her novel is good enough for the company she’ll be keeping. But Nancy soon finds herself as caught up in the group’s personal lives as she is with their writing.
They call themselves The Leopardi Circle. There’s Gillian, a beautiful, scheming, world-famous poet; Bernard, a pompous but lovable biographer; Virginia, a respected historian and the peacemaker of the group, who is also Bernard’s ex-wife; Chris, a divorced father and successful thriller writer; and Adam, the youngest of the group, an aspiring novelist who is infatuated with Gillian. Through their complicated relationships, these eccentric characters share their families (some have been married to and divorced from each other), their beds, and their histories (buried secrets have a way of coming to light).
Listen to Corinne reading a selection from The Writing Circle at WritersCast.com.
An amazingly clever novel with depth, drama, and warmth. The characters are so sharply drawn, they will stay with you long after you've reluctantly put down this beautifully rendered tale.
-- Anita Shreve, author of The Pilot's Wife
If you think you've got a novel in you, The Writing Circle is the book for you. But even if you don't, even if you just love reading a compelling story narrated with wit and charm, that is sad and funny by turns, and populated by characters whose moral struggles are more profound than they know, this novel will leave you completely satisfied. The Writing Circle is a reading treat. -- Valerie Martin, author of The Confessions of Edward Day
The Writing Circle, a novel about the lives of members of a writing group, their relationships to one another and to those outside the circle, is a story as intricate as a Persian carpet. And, like the best weaver, Corinne Demas has you following thread after thread throughout the narrative with a sense of wonder and delight.-- Anne Bernays, author of The Trophy House
Through its artful use of multiple voices, its memorable characters and elegant prose, The Writing Circle weaves a web that tightens slowly around you as you read until you find you simply can't put it down. The is a wonderful book, tense, engaging, and highly recommended. --Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club
...Part of what gives this format its enduring appeal is the way it allows readers to dip in and out of each character’s life while also giving multiple perspectives on key events. Demas ups the ante by deepening the characterizations, introducing the subject of plagiarism, and exposing the vanity and insecurity of even the most celebrated writers. Delicious reading. -- Booklist
...the story quickly moves to a satisfying end. This fourth novel (The Same River Twice) by a well-established author of short stories, poetry, and children's books will appeal to readers who enjoyed Karen Joy Fowler's The Jane Austen Book Club and other novels about the writing life. --Library Journal
(Read Complete Review)
(Demas) has the obvious bona fides to probe writers' lives in her fiction, and the less superficially observable qualities of knowledge and first-hand experience to be able to juggle a number of writers' personalities in a narrative simultaneously….The exurbanite culture and cultured chums Demas evokes have a charmed staying power. A story isn't over until it's over, and the confederates of the Leopardi Circle have a shared knack for sparking the thought that they might be worthy of a second installment. --The Chicago Tribune (Read Complete Review
A charming novel about a group of writers in a small college town, full of warmth and humor. --The Chicago Tribune "Printers Row"
I suspect that not every writing circle can boast a cast of characters as interesting as the one Corinne Demas has assembled in her new novel...engaging and highly recommended. -- Daily Hampshire Gazette (Read Complete Review)
Complicated with former and current relationships among the members, secrets kept, and ideas stolen, this compelling tale is about a writing group made up of all levels of literati -- historians, popular fiction writers, biographers, poets -- all at various places in their careers. All of the characters are well drawn, and the story moves along at a brisk pace. Thoroughly entertaining!-- Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, CO --IndieBound (Read Complete Review)
Through her paradoxes (the poet with no heart; the child who sees all; the biographer who can’t understand his own life; the writer whose loyalty to fact opens her to artful betrayal) Demas manages to raise the soap opera to a certain level of intellectual tension....a good mystery and pleasant entertainment for summer reading. --The Providence Journal (Read Complete Review)
As Demas guides her readers into her characters’ lives, including weddings, births, and publication, she allows multiple perspectives to deepen the readers’ enjoyment. The personal lives of the writers intertwine, creating complicated and charged scenes..... The Writing Circle is a fascinating read that gives readers a seat in the writing world. --Sacramento Book Review (Read Complete Review)
The characters are real people, like people we all know. They love, lose, and live on. I wanted Nancy to find a publisher, for Virginia’s ex-husband to stop hurting their children’s feelings, for Chris to attain a closer relationship with his sons, and for Paul to find happiness and friends. Demas made me CARE about her characters. There was an undercurrent of urgency through the whole book. I found myself thinking about it at odd times, wondering what was up next for my new friends....The last quarter of the book held me enthralled. All the hidden secrets started coming to light and havoc reigned. The closer I came to the end, the more breathless I felt. --TWC Book Reviews (Read Complete Blog Review)
Corinne Demas never fails to please her readers. (In The Writing Circle) Corinne Demas gives readers a fascinating look at the literary world that “outsiders” are normally not privy to… The Writing Circle draws the reader into the lives of the characters, and twists and turns just enough to make one suspect where things are heading only to be shocked by such a startling and stunning conclusion. --Bookin' with "Bingo" (Read Complete Blog Review)
One of the hardest things I imagine an author could do is write about writing, but Demas does it beautifully and with a wide variety of characters at different stages of their lives and at different points of their career….I would recommend this book to anyone who was curious about writing or writer’s workshops and enjoys insightful human stories with different perspectives. This is one of my favorite books this year…. The Writing Circle doesn’t disappoint and leaves you thinking to the very end. --Tea and Literature(Read Complete Blog Review)
You will not guess where this story is headed, and you will not guess the end. But you will read the last fourth of the book with your mouth hanging open. Guarantee it. --Unputdownables.net (Read Complete Blog Review)
...Demas takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions as well as many twists and turns. Just when you think you have the plot figured out, another turns throws you into a dizzying spin. Bravo to Corinne Demas for a wonderful suspenseful novel. -- TravelswithCarsandBooks (Read Complete Blog Review)
I loved the book! It's perfect for writers, particularly anyone who's ever been part of a writers' critique group. The author gets inside all these different writers' heads, deconstructing their jealousies and insecurities, and she even delivers a surprise ending. It was a fun read. --
Rants and Ramblings
(Read Complete Blog Review)
" The Voice of Writing" interview with David Wilk, WritersCast.com, November 8, 2010 (Listen to Podcast)
"The Roundtable" interview with host Katie Britton, WAMC-FM, September 21, 2010 (Listen to Podcast )
"I.D.--Corinne Demas" compiled by Steve Pfarrer, Staff Writer, Daily Hampshire Gazette, September 10, 2010 (Read Complete "I.D." Article)
"Out of Bounds " inteview with host Tish Pearlman, WEOS-FM, August 5, 2010 (Listen to Podcast )
"RealGoodWords" interview with host Heidi Holtan, KAXE Radio, August 4, 2010 (Listen to Podcast)
"Corinne Demas: Writing About Writing," by Laurie Higgins, Provincetown Banner, July 8, 2010 (Read Complete Interview)
"Reading with Robin," interview with host Robin Kall, WHJJ Radio, Providence, July 10, 2010 (Listen to Podcast)
"Jen's Jewels," blog interview with Jennifer Vido, August 15, 2010 (Read Complete Interview)