It’s 1991, and recent college graduate Mim wants to be a writer, but for now she is folding clothes at Benetton. She notices the trash-filled streets and befriends exotic Kyra, who joins Mim’s disparate group of roommates, all squeezed together in a crumbling NYC apartment. Their relationship gets closer, and Mim meets Roy, the man Kyra plans to marry. Then, the anguish of another of the roommates, a veteran of the Gulf war, becomes unbearable, and Mim returns home to Boston. She loses track of Kyra for twenty years. Now it’s 2012, Mim is married, a successful writer and raising an adopted child when she learns that Kyra has disappeared in Afghanistan. Mim’s journey to find her old friend forces her to confront her choices, herself, and her understanding of America’s ability to change the world.
Join me today as I talk to Daphne Kalotay about her new novel Blue Hours (Triquarterly, 2019). Kalotay is the author of the critically acclaimed collection Calamity and Other Stories, which was shortlisted for the 2005 Story Prize; the award-winning novel Russian Winter–a national and international bestseller–and the novel Sight Reading, winner of the 2014 New England Society Book Award in Fiction. She received her M.A. from Boston University’s Creative Writing Program, where her stories won the Florence Engel Randall Fiction Prize and a Transatlantic Review Award from the Henfield Foundation, before earning her Ph.D. in Modern and Contemporary Literature. Daphne has received fellowships from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, Yaddo, and MacDowell. She has taught literature and creative writing at Princeton University, University of Massachusetts, Middlebury College, Boston University, Skidmore College, Harvard University and Grub Street. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, and in her spare time, tries to keep rabbits out of her vegetable garden. She also likes to take long urban walks, from one neighborhood into another.