Hart, JoeAnn

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Hart, JoeAnn

PERSONAL:

Born in the Bronx, NY; married; children: two daughters, one son. Education: Attended Skidmore College; Harvard Extension School, B.A.; Bennington College, M.F.A.

ADDRESSES:

Home—MA. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer and novelist.

WRITINGS:

Addled (novel), Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to periodicals, including the Boston Globe Magazine.

SIDELIGHTS:

JoeAnn Hart was born in the New York borough of the Bronx in the 1950s. When she was in the second grade, Hart and her family moved to a suburb of Westchester, where the family's home was neighbor to the Pleasantville Country Club golf course, she stated on her home page. As an adult, she moved to Boulder, Colorado, where she met her husband, then the couple moved across country to Massachusetts, where they renovated his inherited country home and began to raise a variety of livestock. With an eye toward demonstrating the value of higher education to her three children, Hart began taking courses at Harvard Extension School in the mid-1980s, working toward a bachelor's degree. There, she took her first courses in writing, and quickly developed an interest in the written word. ‘I began to publish in literary magazines and small journals, and with that encouragement I strayed over to Bennington College and took an MFA in writing and literature,’ she stated on her home page. From this intensifying devotion to writing came Hart's debut novel, Addled.

Addled is a ‘funny, witty and literary endeavor about the goings on at an exclusive country club,’ Eden Rock, and what happens when the grounds are invaded by a flock of geese, commented Marie Hashima Lofton on Bookreporter.com. Displaced from their natural habitat by local development, the birds have nowhere else to go. For their part, the Eden Rock members consider them a nuisance and a threat to the carefully manicured golf course. The story opens as golfer Charles Lambert powers an ill-timed shot down the course. The speeding ball kills one of the unfortunate geese, igniting a downward spiral for Lambert and the entire country club. Soon, Lambert's remorse at killing the bird transforms him into an animal rights activist and pseudo-hippie who becomes more and more disconnected from his professional life and from his wife, Madeline. Lambert's daughter, an activist herself, begins a campaign to make Eden Rock a vegan establishment. The bemused Madeline despairs for her husband even as she continues her duties to the club, including her role as secret cochronicler of the club's many illicit liaisons and subsequent children, maintained in order to prevent inadvertent incestuous relationships from springing up among the membership. Elsewhere, club chef Vita hatches a plan to fatten up the bothersome geese for slaughter, thereby solving Eden Rock's bird problem and offering a delicious feast at the same time.

"Addled sings with carefully observed satirical wit and is pure, laugh-out-loud funny. Hart knows her subject as well as she knows her audience, and this accomplished debut makes for a perfect summer read,’ remarked BookPage reviewer Kristy Kiernan. ‘Hart does an admirable job of developing memorable flawed characters and letting them loose in an absurd situation,’ commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Booklist critic Joanne Wilkinson called Addled a ‘first novel that is both very funny and very moving."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 1, 2007, Joanne Wilkinson, review of Addled, p. 62.

Boston Magazine, May, 2007, J.L. Johnson, review of Addled, p. 38.

Library Journal, March 15, 2007, Joshua Cohen, review of Addled, p. 58.

Publishers Weekly, February 19, 2007, review of Addled, p. 144.

ONLINE

BookPage,http://www.bookpage.com/ (October 3, 2007), Kristy Kiernan, ‘Fowl Play at the Country Club,’ review of Addled.

Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (October 3, 2007), Marie Hashima Lofton, review of Addled.

Compulsive Reader,http://www.compulsivereader.com/ (October 3, 2007), Bob Williams, review of Addled.

Hachette Book Group Web site,http://www.hachettebookgroupusa.com/ (October 3, 2007), biography of JoeAnn Hart.

JoeAnn Hart Home Page,http://www.joeannhart.com (October 3, 2007).