Peter Manseau’s The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography and the Man Who Captured Lincoln’s Ghost, is an expedition through the beginnings of photography and its deceptions. After the Civil War, a “spirit photographer,” William Mumler, took photographs that featured the ghostly presences of lost loved ones alongside living subjects. A fraud Mumler certainly was, but he was also a pioneer in the new art of photography.
“A profound consideration of death and doubt illuminated by a 19th Century gallery of genius and ingenious deception.” Jeff Sharlet
Peter Manseau is the religion curator at the National Museum of American History in the Smithsonian. He has run the webzine Killing the Buddha and written a memoir called Vows, about his parents, a former nun and priest. In 2009 Manseau won the National Jewish Book Award for his debut novel Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter.
Ivy Pochoda’s third novel, Wonder Valley, is a visionary and empathetic portrait of Los Angeles and some of its inhabitants: twin boys, a disaffected lawyer, a boy fresh out of juvie, a drifter, etc, whose lives converge in ways you might not expect.
“Destined to be a classic L.A. novel.” Michael Connelly
A former pro squash player, Ivy Pochoda grew up in Brooklyn and now lives in California. Her two earlier novels are Art of Disappearing (2009) and Visitation Street (2013).
The Meetinghouse Readings in Canaan, held at 7:30 pm on four Thursday evenings in July and early August are free and open to the public; no reservations needed. (Please, no infants, toddlers or squirmers.)
Moderated by Phil Pochoda, the sponsors include James Laffan, Esq., Caldwell Estate Planning, Wachovia Securities, and Mascoma Savings Bank. The Norwich Bookstore will sell current and past books by each author at the Meetinghouse. Many of the books can also be purchased at the bookstore in advance, to be signed by the authors.
The readings are held at the 1793 Meetinghouse in Canaan, N.H.’s Historic District, located opposite the beach on Canaan Street Lake. Take Route 4 to the blinking light in Canaan; 2 miles up Canaan Street to the Old Meetinghouse. For more information, visit meetinghouse.us or call the Canaan Town Library (603) 523-9650.
An NPR Best Book of 2017
"A rare work of historical nonfiction that is both studious and just plain entertaining."—Publishers Weekly, Top Ten Books of 2017
"An exceptional story"—Errol Morris, New York Times Book Review
A story of faith and fraud in post–Civil War America, told through the lens of a photographer w
NPR Best Book of 2017
Los Angeles Times Best Fiction Pick
Refinery29 Best Book of the Year
BOLO Books Top Read of 2017
“Destined to be a classic L.A. novel.”—Michael Connelly