Fort Greene

Author of novel hailed by Amy Poehler to read at Greenlight Bookstore

Author to Speak in Fort Greene March 22

February 25, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney will be in Brooklyn on March 22 to discuss her book at Greenlight Bookstore. Photo courtesy of Ecco
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Named one of the most anticipated books of 2016 by Entertainment Weekly, The Millions, ELLE, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, among others, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s “The Nest” (Ecco, March 22) is a captivating debut that has already made quite a splash.

With a trailer featuring stars like “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s” Ellie Kemper and “Transparent” creator Jill Soloway, “The Nest” is a tender, funny novel that explores what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of our lives and the fraught but unbreakable ties we have with our families. 

The author will be at Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene to discuss her book on Tuesday, March 22.

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In the book, on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City, years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point as Melody, Beatrice and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel with a 19-year-old waitress as his passenger.

The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs’ joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the hand they have in their own fates. 

As Sweeney explains, the inspiration for “The Nest” came from an idea she had about siblings who needed a drink before gathering — but who, for some reason, felt they couldn’t drink in front of one another. Instead, each went to separate a bar to fortify themselves before their meeting. Once she started to think about why they couldn’t drink in each other’s presence, the characters came together fairly quickly.

But, she admits, “Writing this book involved a lot of research. I read about the financial meltdown of 2008-9, about the AIDS crisis, about the clean-up at Ground Zero, the fall of the towers, the recovery of artifacts in the wake of 9/11. I read about amputees and prosthetics… [And] even though I’d lived in NYC for more than 20 years, halfway through revising the first draft I spent a week in New York and all day, every day, I went to the places in the book, trying to pick up more color or description or inspiration: Grand Central, the Oyster Bar, Arthur Avenue, DUMBO, Fulton Ferry Landing, Central Park, the Museum of Natural History.”

In addition to receiving rave reviews from critics, D’Aprix Sweeney has captured the attention of Amy Poehler, who said, “In her intoxicating first novel, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney has written an epic family story that unfolds in a deeply personal way.  ‘The Nest’ is a fast-moving train, and Sweeney’s writing dares us to keep up. I couldn’t stop reading or caring about the juicy and dysfunctional Plumb family.”

Sweeney lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children. She has an MFA from Bennington College.


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