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Chris Cleave at Books & Books: a spy report

Spy report from Monday night's Chris Cleave appearance at Books & Books, courtesy of Friend of the Blog and Herald reporter Hannah Sampson:

Bee The publisher of Little Bee (that would be Simon & Schuster) doesn't want you to know much about it from looking at the back. They say, instead of the usual plot summary, that "it is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it."

What's the deal with that? someone asked author Chris Cleave at his Monday night appearance at Books & Books in Coral Gables.

"It was rather cheeky of them," the London resident acknowledged before saying he thinks more publishers should follow suit.

So we won't ruin the marketing campaign here, except to say: Little Bee is fantastic, a knockout of a book about two very different women whose lives intersect, then split, then join again.

Cleave, who researched the novel for 18 months, said he drew inspiration from a childhood spent in Nigeria and a temp job working at an immigration detention facility. No more hints now!

A columnist for The Guardian newspaper with a wife and three kids, Cleave says his own life is very dull. "And I like it that way."

At the end of the full-for-a-school-night talk, which included some young creative writing students in the audience, Cleave praised the venue.

"If I had a book store as good as this within 100 miles of where I live, I'd drive 100 miles every day," he said.

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