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updated: 5/7/2012 7:04 AM

Award-winning author Ann Packer coming to Vernon Hills

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  • Lunch with author Ann Packer Wednesday, May 16, at the Aspen Drive Library, in Vernon Hills. For details, (847) 362-2330.

    Lunch with author Ann Packer Wednesday, May 16, at the Aspen Drive Library, in Vernon Hills. For details, (847) 362-2330.
    Courtesy of Ann Packer

Submitted by Cook Memorial Public Library District

Ann Packer, author of the two New York Times best-selling novels, "Songs Without Words" and "The Dive From Clausen's Pier," will discuss her work during a luncheon "meet and greet" including her newest book "Swim Back to Me" at noon on Wednesday, May 16, at the Aspen Drive Library, 701 N. Aspen Dr., Vernon Hills.

This free event is open to the public, but registration is required. Call (847) 362-2330 or go to to register. An optional box lunch from Café Pyrenees will be provided for $8 which must be paid in advance and in person at either the Cook Park Library or Aspen Drive Library. Lunches may be ordered through Wednesday, May 9.

"Swim Back to Me" is a collection of burnished, emotionally searing short stories that tackle the gritty realities of living -- grief, self-doubt, loss -- but also weddings, births and self-discovery; all written from very different points of view and framed by two unforgettably linked narratives that express the transformation of a single family over a course of a lifetime. They include a young boy on the brink of his teen tears, a grieving mother, a divorced, middle-aged woman who is newly remarried, and an expectant father.

Praise for Swim Back to Me:

Ladies' Home Journal says "Ann Packer has a talent for creating authentic, absorbing characters -- and it's on full display in Swim Back to Me."

"As funny as it is sad … full of revelations … near perfection….[A] lovely, masterful collection." said Mameve Medwed of The Boston Globe.

Kim Hubbard of People Magazine describes "Swim Back to Me" as "Astute … anyone intrigued by the ways we both fail and save one another will find ample food for thought here."

Ann Packer was an English major at Yale University, but didn't start writing fiction until her senior year. After college, she took a job writing paperback cover copy at Ballantine Books, attended the Iowa Writer's Workshop and sold her first short story to The New Yorker a few weeks before receiving her M.F.A. degree.

Packer spent almost 10 years writing "The Dive From Clausen's Pier," which was sold almost immediately to the editor at Alfred A. Knopf. It was the first selection of the Good Morning America "Read This!" book club and received a Great Lakes Book Award, an American Library Association Award, and the Kate Chopin Literary Award. Parker's second novel "Songs Without Words" is also published by Knopf. In addition to fiction, Parker has written essays for Vogue and Real Simple magazines.

Ann Packer currently lives in Northern California with her two children. Books for sale and signing will be provided by Lake Forest Bookstore.

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