Random House: Bringing You the Best in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children's Books
Authors
Books
Features
Newletters and Alerts

Buy now from Random House

  • The Rising Star of Rusty Nail
  • Written by Lesley M. M. Blume
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780440421115
  • Our Price: $7.99
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - The Rising Star of Rusty Nail

Buy now from Random House

  • The Rising Star of Rusty Nail
  • Written by Lesley M. M. Blume
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307490216
  • Our Price: $7.99
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - The Rising Star of Rusty Nail

The Rising Star of Rusty Nail

    Select a Format:
  • Book
  • eBook

Written by Lesley M. M. BlumeAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Lesley M. M. Blume

eBook

List Price: $7.99

eBook

On Sale: February 04, 2009
Pages: 288 | ISBN: 978-0-307-49021-6
Published by : Knopf Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books
The Rising Star of Rusty Nail Cover

Bookmark,
Share & Shelve:

  • Add This - The Rising Star of Rusty Nail
  • Email this page - The Rising Star of Rusty Nail
  • Print this page - The Rising Star of Rusty Nail
ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PRAISE PRAISE
Tags for this book (powered by Library Thing)
piano (12) music (6) historical fiction (5) fiction (4) communism (4) russia (4) 1950s (4)
» see more tags
communism (4) russia (4) 1950s (4)
» hide
Synopsis

Synopsis

“A story that is as rich as it is delicious.”—Booklist, Starred

Franny Hansen is a 10-year-old piano prodigy living in Rusty Nail, Minnesota. Once the Coot Capitol of the world, in 1953 it's just a run-of-the-mill town with one traffic light and a bizarre cast of characters. She's long exhausted the talents of the town's only piano teacher and seems destined to perform at church events and school assemblies, until a mysterious Russian woman arrives in Rusty Nail. Franny's neighbors are convinced the "Commie" is a threat to their American way of life, but Franny's not so sure. Could this stranger be her ticket out of Rusty Nail?

Lesley M. M. Blume returns with the poignant and laugh-out-loud funny story of one girl's attempt to pursue the American dream in small town America.

“Blume has skillfully combined humor, history, and music to create an enjoyable novel that builds to a surprising crescendo.”—School Library Journal
Lesley M. M. Blume

About Lesley M. M. Blume

Lesley M. M. Blume - The Rising Star of Rusty Nail

Photo © Caitlin Crounse

About the Author


Lesley M. M. Blume is an author, journalist, columnist, cultural observer, and bon vivant based in New York City, where she was born.  She did her undergraduate work at Williams College and Oxford University, and took her graduate degree in history from Cambridge University, where she was a Herchel Smith fellow.

Ms. Blume has authored three critically-acclaimed novels for Knopf Books for Young Readers: Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters (2006), The Rising Star of Rusty Nail (2007), and Tennyson (2009).  Upon the release of Tennyson, reviewers and critics placed her in the same class as writers Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, and Truman Capote (“Brilliant, unusual writing.”—The Chicago Tribune).  

She is currently finishing her fourth book for Knopf—Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties—which will be released on September 14, 2010, and recently inked a deal for her fifth (The World Before Us, Fall 2011).

As a journalist, Ms. Blume began her career at The Jordan Times in Amman and Cronkite Productions in New York City. She later became an off-air reporter for ABC News Nightline with Ted Koppel in Washington, D.C., where she helped cover the historic presidential election in 2000, the 9/11 attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and countless other events and topics.  She now writes on cultural topics full-time, contributing to a wide array of publications, including Vogue, Slate, The Daily Beast, and The Big Money.

She lives in Greenwich Village with her husband and their French bulldog, who was a featured character in her first popular first novel, Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters.  

You can learn more about her at www.lesleymmblume.com.


In Her Own Words: Writing Cornelia


“Before I actually sat down and wrote Cornelia, I’d been thinking about the book’s characters for a long time. In fact, I grew up with many of them, in a way. My own mother was a concert pianist, trained at Juilliard by a great Russian master. My childhood was spent amidst her coterie of artist friends, which included flamboyant art dealers, crazed pianists, and aspiring opera singers (in fact, I used to torment a ‘Howling Dog’ who came to practice at our home; she shall remain anonymous).

“Indeed, most of the incidental characters in Cornelia were inspired by real people. For instance, we had a family accountant who worked and held court at various odd-spots around New York City, including a disheveled yarn warehouse in Hell’s Kitchen. None of the warehouse workers quite knew what to make of him, and, as a little girl, neither did I. But I was very aware, even at an early age, that my experiences and encounters with such characters were deliciously atypical. And so I filed them away in my mind and on the pages of journals, knowing that I’d want to remember them in full-color at some point in the future.

“The idea for the Somerset sisters came about in this way: one of my mother's friends had a vast, echoing mansion in Montclair, and in many of the rooms stood old black-and-white photographs of her husband’s great-aunts, having wild adventures all over the world. These ladies were all rich and restless and left their husbands behind as they toured everywhere from Hollywood to the pyramids. Naturally, the photos made quite an impression on me. I wanted to be like these women. I wanted to lean casually into Clark Gable’ s side and smile as camera lights flashed, or have my picture was taken while perched on a camel, squinting into the Egyptian sunset. The great-aunts seemed like such wonderfully free creatures, who truly loved being alive.

“Later, I started having adventures of my own. Like the Somerset sisters, I went ‘anywhere and everywhere a train or a boat or a plane would take me.’ I sent myself to English universities and Bedouin tents and Parisian cabarets. I studied everything and wrote it all down, and my heroes were fiercely independent women like Martha Gellhorn, Christiane Amanpour, and Marlene Dietrich. I relied heavily on my travel journals as material for Cornelia, and many of the Somersets’ escapades are based on my real-life adventures. Although, sadly, I did not get to meet the great Pablo Picasso or the ghost of King Arthur. But I certainly would have liked to, and was happy to give the Somerset sisters the opportunity to do so in my book.

“Now I live in Greenwich Village, in the building where I envisioned Cornelia living with Lucy, Madame Desjardins, Patel, Mister Kinyatta, and of course, Virginia. This beautiful part of New York City has captured my imagination as much as the medina of Marrakech or the ruins of Tintagel. In a way, Cornelia is my heartfelt homage to this neighborhood and city where I was born, and to which I returned, and to all of the people and places that happened to me in-between.

“It’s all been extremely colorful, to say the least.”



-–Lesley M. M. Blume,
July 2006
Praise

Praise

★ “A story that is as rich as it is delicious.”—Booklist, Starred

“Blume has skillfully combined humor, history, and music to create an enjoyable novel that builds to a surprising crescendo.”—School Library Journal

Your E-Mail Address
send me a copy

Recipient's E-Mail Address
(multiple addresses may be separated by commas)

A personal message: