Born and raised in Gulfport, Mississippi, Vicki Salloum has lived in New Orleans for most of her adult life. A journalist turned fiction writer, she has written many short stories and four novels, including A Prayer to Saint Jude, Faulkner & Friends, Candyland,and Waiting for You at Midnight. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Louisiana State University and has taught adjunct writing courses at universities and community colleges in New Orleans.
9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
State Capitol Building, House Committee Room 2
Women’s Journeys of Self-Discovery in Fiction
10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Waiting for You at Midnight
Confronting the pain of an ordinary day after the death of her husband, Logan, Arabella Joseph embarks on a crusade to find a new love for her life.
In the months following her husband's death, Arabella Joseph realizes she has no one with whom to share her most intimate thoughts and feelings. So she begins writing to her best friend--her dead husband--in a spiral notebook, telling him about her days and nights in the aftermath of his death. She describes in detail how she feels about the three men she variously meets while attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. In words funny, naughty, and moving, she re-lives the scenes of her romantic encounters and jiltings and crushes that go nowhere as well as beautiful nights spent with one of the men. In the course of her writings, she exposes her ferocious love for her dead husband even as she searches for someone to take his place. This "manuscript with no identity," as Arabella calls it, is not only a celebration of her husband's life but a deeply felt journey into the forbidden territory of an older woman's sexuality, grief, and alcoholism and her efforts to find enduring love while mourning the loss of her greatest love.
"It shook me, this book. Just grabbed hold of me and shook out whatever defenses I'd marshalled against grief. Waiting for You at Midnight is the story of a single year in the life of Arabella, the year following the death of her husband. But this is not a sad book. There is muddling, yes, and missteps, for sure, but there is no wallowing. It is a story of care set in New Orleans, the City that Care Forgot, a contrast that lays the human condition out bare and honest for all the world to see." -- Barb Johnson, author of More of This World or Maybe Another
"Waiting for You at Midnight is a haunting journey through the land of the living in New Orleans. Arabella is an unforgettable heroine who lifts the veil of grief to reveal the force of life. The writing is seared with passion. I was entranced." -- Christine Bell, author of The Perez Family and Grievance
"Vicki Salloum's latest novel, Waiting for You at Midnight, is at once a paean to enduring love and the sacrifices that come along with it... Narrated in a voice that is candid, warm, conversational, and familiar, readers will instantly feel at home with this novel's time-less and universal themes, its flawed but lovable char-acters, and its gritty and realistic sense of place. Waiting for You at Midnight is truly a book that is not to be missed." -- David Armand, author of My Mother's House
"Waiting for You at Midnight captivates from the first page to a startling ending we won't forget. With a lyrical and compassionate eye, author Vicki Salloum leads us through the landscape of loss as her characters struggle to heal their broken lives. We see how grief and desperation lead to destructive choices even as we long to be saved... Through unexpected twists and turns, we fall in love with Salloum's everyday warriors who endure life's tragedies but never give up fighting for their souls." -- Elaine Mansfield, author of Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief
"This book is a tender journey, told with unflinching honesty, of a woman emerging from grief... Salloum's evocative descriptions take the reader deep into Arabella's world, a place of daring, remorse, forgiveness and abiding love. Highly recommended." -- Jean Ryan, author of Lost Sister
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