From vampires to swans

Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian, returns with a long awaited new book, The Swan Thieves.

“The work takes us back to the late 19th century, the era of Impressionism, and a highly aesthetic and romantic way of living. Kostova was bred in a similar world, which survived in such places as Yugoslavia and Asheville,” says an article in the Citizen-Times. “The novel, Kostova said, ‘is in many ways a book about the love of young people for old people, and old people for young people — (not) just in the sense of the love affair (it traces), which has this unusual age difference, but also it’s a book about mentorship, and the ways that we learn from the people who are older.’” (Read the entire story here.)

Kostova first started visiting Asheville as a child, and it was in the area, on a hike with her husband in 1994 (both attended The Historian. That book deals with vampire tales from Eastern Europe. Says Web site Contemporary Literature, the 2005 novel is “a chilling historical mystery that reaches from the present day into the medieval past of Vlad the Impaler, Wallachia’s barbarous 15th century ruler whose gruesome deeds gave rise to the legend of Dracula.”

It took Kostova a decade to complete her debut novel, but after refusing an initial publishing deal, the author’s work went to auction where it was famously purchased by Little, Brown & Company for $2 million.

went on to be the first debut novel to land at number one on the New York Times bestseller list.

Kostova and her husband have bought a home in the Asheville area and, fittingly, the author will launch her new book here.

Kostova introduces The Swan Thieves on Tuesday, Jan. 12, at The Captain’s Bookshelf (31 Paige Ave., Asheville. 253-6631). 5:30-8 p.m. Signed first printings of the book are $35.

—Alli Marshall, A&E reporter

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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