Heather Jessup on the Avro Arrow, the inspiration for her debut novel

Heather Jessup, author of The Lightning Field (Gaspereau Press, 2012).Heather Jessup teaches at Dalhousie University in the English Department where she took some time out to Skype with me about her novel The Lightning Field (Gaspereau Press, 2012).

Since the book’s release, Jessup has been shortlisted for the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and the John and Margaret Savage First Book Award.

About the book:
The Lightning Field, by Heather Jessup (Gaspereau Press, 2012).
Set against the backdrop of Cold War Toronto, The Lightning Field follows the lives of Peter and Lucy Jacobs from their post-war courtship through marriage and child-rearing in the suburbs. Though spanning four decades, the book pivots on the events of a single day: October 4, 1957. On this day, the Russians launch Sputnik into orbit, the Avro Arrow—the most advanced jet plane of its time, whose wings Peter Jacobs has engineered—rolls out onto the tarmac to great ceremony, and, in a nearby field, Lucy Jacobs is struck by lightning on her way to the event.

The Globe and Mail calls The Lightning Field, “Jessup’s homage to a dream, to the knockout movie playing in her mind.”

Enjoy our chat. (I did!)

Topics include: Jessup’s own family connection to the Avro Arrow; life in the 50s and 60s; the wingspan of my hair flips; and, a guest appearance by my cat, Oscar.

Heather Jessup: website | Twitter

Upcoming appearances:

An Evening with the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize Nominees David Adams Richards, Valerie Compton and Heather Jessup
Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Time: 7:30 PM-9:00 PM
Location: The Black Box Theatre—Sir James Dunn Hall, Fredericton, NB, Canada

Date: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Location: Lane’s Privateer Inn—Liverpool, NS, Canada

Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction AwardDate: Friday, October 12, 2012
Location: Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts—Halifax, NS, Canada

Gaspereau Press Wayzegoose
Date: Saturday, October 20, 2012
Location: Kentville, NS, Canada

3 thoughts on “Heather Jessup on the Avro Arrow, the inspiration for her debut novel

  1. That was a great conversation between interviewer and interviewee you both seemed so relaxed and having fun. Very informative discussion about what motivated Heather to write the book and how she captured this period in history and the effects of end of the Avro Arrow project from a human perspective. Kudo’s to you both.

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