Park Sloper’s first book is business and critical rave

June 19, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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By Eli MacKinnon

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Sometimes, the woman you see scribbling in a notebook on your subway ride to work will decide to hand over the fruits of her commute for seven figures, a movie deal and the endorsement of Oprah’s magazine.

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At least that’s how things go if you share a train with Park Sloper Karen Walker Thompson, who will celebrate the June 26 release of her already thoroughly acclaimed debut novel, “The Age of Miracles,” with a launch party at Fort Greene’s Greenlight Bookstore on Thursday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m.

The former Simon and Schuster editor says she wrote the bulk of her novel in the early morning hours before work, occasionally while riding the subway.

“The Age of Miracles,” which emerged unscathed on Monday from the critical maw of the New York Times’ often-merciless Michiko Kakutani, tells the story of an 11-year-old girl whose coming-of-age happens to coincide with the unraveling of one of the most fundamental aspects of life on earth.

In Thompson’s near-future San Diego, the world’s rotation has suddenly begun to slow down. The mysterious phenomenon, termed “the slowing,” plays havoc with the environment, the length of days, sleep cycles and the foundations of society.

Meanwhile, the 11-year-old Julia is forced to contend with all the ordinary disasters of adolescence and a family whose bonds are warping under the strain of a new reality.

Thompson’s book, which sparked a bidding war that topped out with an offer in the low seven figures from Random House, has garnered mostly favorable advance reviews, including a glowing endorsement from fellow Brooklyn author Nathan Englander, who called it “pure magnificence.” It also attracted a movie option from River Road Entertainment.

The 32-year-old Thompson grew up in San Diego and attended UCLA, before moving to New York to get her MFA in creative writing from Columbia.

“The Age of Miracles” launch party, free and open to the public, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 28, at Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton St., in Fort Greene. Subsequent Brooklyn readings are scheduled for Friday, July 13, at BookCourt, 163 Court St., Cobble Hill, at a still-unannounced time, and for 7 p.m., Tuesday, July 31, at the powerHouse Arena, 37 Main St., DUMBO.

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