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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Staples Grad Debuts First Novel, Skips Westport on Tour

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UPDATE Ted Thompson, a 1999 Staples High School graduate, went on a whistle-stop train tour of independent bookstores in New York and Connecticut today – bypassing Westport because it has no such store – to promote his first novel, “The Land of Steady Habits,” set in a town much like Westport. Image
Author Ted Thompson reads from his debut novel, “Land of Steady Habits,” at R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) photo

His tour began in Grand Central Terminal and continued with stops in Larchmont, N.Y., Darien, and ended in Madison. Reviews have already compared the book (Little, Brown, hardcover, $25 Little, Brown, e-book, $12.99) to Cheever and Updike in recounting the life of a suburbanite.

Author and essayist Sarah Vowell said in her blurb on Thompson’s website: “It would probably never occur to New England white people that they are an ethnicity, but this sharp and funny saga of a Connecticut family unraveling is a detailed natural history of upper crust suburbanites and how they live (and drink). 

“The reader learns not to take good fortune and loved ones for granted—and also that a liquor store owner in Westport will never starve.”

In a comment posted on WestportNow on Sunday, Thompson said he was not snubbing Westport on his one-day train tour and looks forward to returning to his hometown.

“I would have loved to have stopped in Westport yesterday but unfortunately there are no independent bookstores in town (RIP Remarkable Bookshop),” he said. “Hopefully there will be a chance for me to get through Westport soon. Perhaps the library?”

Maxine Bleiweis, Westport Library director, said Sunday the library has been in touch with Thompson to arrange an appearance.

While at Staples, Thompson was active on the ski team, worked at WWPT, and as a Staples Player wrote, directed and acted in his original play “The Restaurant Sketches.”

He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, where he was awarded a Truman Capote Fellowship. His work has appeared in “Tin House” and “Best New American Voices,” among other publications. He was born in Connecticut and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their dog Raisin.

His next scheduled Connecticut appearance to promote the book is Wednesday, April 2, at 5 p.m. at the Mark Twain Museum Center in Hartford.

Posted 03/30/14 at 01:21 AM


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Thanks so much for writing this piece about my book! I would have loved to have stopped in Westport yesterday but unfortunately there are no independent bookstores in town (RIP Remarkable Bookshop). Hopefully there will be a chance for me to get through Westport soon. Perhaps the library?

Thanks again,

Posted by Ted Thompson on March 30, 2014 at 04:00 PM | #

It’s nice to see that you support the independent book stores, but I imagine we can buy it at B&N or amazon….

Posted by Tracy Flood on March 31, 2014 at 03:26 PM | #

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