Greene, Thomas Christopher 1968-
Greene, Thomas Christopher 1968-
Born 1968, in Worcester, MA; son of Richard (a college professor) and Dolores Greene (a kindergarten teacher); married; wife's name Tia. Education: Hobart College, B.A., 1993; Vermont College, M.F.A., 1996.
Home—VT. Agent—Nick Ellison, Nicholas Ellison, Inc., 55 5th Ave., New York, NY 10003.
Writer. Vermont College, Montpelier, worked in admissions and marketing departments; Norwich University, Northfield, VT, director ofpublic relations. Also worked in a staple factory, as a pizza deliveryman, as an oyster shucker, and in media relations for a presidential campaign.
Mirror Lake, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2003.
I'll Never Be Long Gone, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2005.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
The Envious Moon, a novel.
Thomas Christopher Greene held various jobs until, as he recalled in a statement posted on his home page, he remembered his goal of publishing a novel by the age of thirty. Greene's dream was fulfilled with the publication of Mirror Lake in 2003, although by then he was thirty-five years old. In the novel, Nathan Garter, following his father's death, leaves his life in Boston behind and settles in the small town of Eden, Vermont. Nathan takes a job as a local mailman, and while on his delivery route during a snowstorm, his car veers off the road and hits a tree. Unexpectedly, Nathan is nursed back to health by seventy-nine-year-old Wallace Fiske, a widower and the town recluse. During Nathan's recovery, Wallace tells Nathan about his past, including a tragic incident involving his deceased wife. Nathan then begins to date the local bartender's daughter, Kate, and together the couple investigate the details of Wallace's mysterious life.
Critical response to Mirror Lake was mixed. APublishers Weekly reviewer called the novel "well-crafted but somewhat stale," and a Kirkus Reviews critic agreed, calling the book "a nicely turned-out if unsurprising debut" that is "predictably sad." Mary Ellen Quinn, reviewing the novel in Booklist, felt differently, pointing out Greene's "assured prose and strong sense of place." Additionally, Jim Coan, writing in the Library Journal, felt that the story is "engaging" and further commented, "This whimsical first novel is also a kind of Gothic, rural, New England romance."
Greene followed Mirror Lake withI'll Never Be Long Gone in 2005. Greene again used the small town of Eden as the setting for his second novel. In the story, two brothers, Charlie and Owen, are torn apart by their father's suicide. Their father's last will and testament bequeaths Charlie with ownership of the family restaurant, and Owen is given 10,000 dollars to find his own way. Owen joins the U.S. Merchant Marines, while Charlie stays in Eden and marries Owen's ex-girlfriend, Claire. Charlie and Claire have a son named Jonah and successfully run the restaurant together. When Owen returns home after eighteen years, he finds that he is still attracted to Claire, and the two begin a love affair.
Reviewers again expressed differing opinions regarding Greene's second novel. Critiquing I'll Never Be Long Gone in the Washington Post Book World, Ron Charles felt that "Greene's descriptions of food preparation … are disappointingly technical." On the other hand, Library Journal contributor Debbie Bogenschutz called the food descriptions "mouthwatering." Although a Kirkus Reviews critic called the book "uncomplicated, heavily moralistic" and "hardly a thrill," Allison Block, writing inBooklist, acknowledged "Greene's poetic descriptions of his native New England and his sumptuous accounts of cooking." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly was also laudatory, stating that "Greene's evocative descriptions of nature, food and love infuse this novel with sensuality and a nostalgia-tinged melancholy."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2003, Mary Ellen Quinn, review ofMirror Lake, p. 1953; September 15, 2005, Allison Block, review of I'll Never Be Long Gone,p. 32.
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2003, review of Mirror Lake, p. 823; August 15, 2005, review of I'll Never Be Long Gone, p. 871.
Library Journal, August, 2003, Jim Coan, review ofMirror Lake, p. 130; October 1, 2005, Debbie Bogenschutz, review of I'll Never Be Long Gone, p. 65.
Publishers Weekly, June 30, 2003, review of Mirror Lake, p. 53; August 15, 2005, review of I'll Never Be Long Gone, p. 29.
Washington Post Book World, November 27, 2005, Ron Charles, "Kitchen Confidential: A Father's Will Fuels a Cain and Abel Conflict in this Story of Legacy, Loss and Food," p. 6.
Thomas Christopher Greene Home Page,http://www.thomaschristophergreene.com(April 14, 2006).