Acclaimed debut novelist Christopher Swann will be at The Book Catapult on Friday, October 19 at 7:30pm to discuss and sign his novel, Shadow of the Lions.
“A twisty tale that surprises at every turn, Shadow of the Lions will keep you turning pages compulsively into the wee hours, cursing Christopher Swann for the inconvenience.” - Jonathan Evison, author of Lawn Boy
How long must we pay for the crimes of our youth? That is just one question Christopher Swann explores in this compulsively readable debut, a literary thriller set in the elite - and sometimes dark - environs of Blackburne, a prep school in Virginia. When Matthias Glass’s best friend, Fritz, vanishes without a trace in the middle of an argument during their senior year, Matthias tries to move on with his life, only to realize that until he discovers what happened to his missing friend, he will be stuck in the past, guilty, responsible, alone. Almost ten years after Fritz’s disappearance, Matthias gets his chance. Offered a job teaching English at Blackburne, he gets swiftly drawn into the mystery. In the shadowy woods of his alma mater, he stumbles into a web of surveillance, dangerous lies, and buried secrets - and discovers the troubled underbelly of a school where the future had once always seemed bright. A sharp tale full of false leads and surprise turns, Shadow of the Lions is also wise and moving. Christopher Swann has given us a gripping debut about friendship, redemption, and what it means to lay the past to rest.
“Swann does a wonderful job depicting these lost boys, the puzzling kinetics of friendship, competition and status . . . Blackburne feels like an unmanned ship where anything could happen.”
—Marisha Pessl, The New York Times Book Review
“Swann’s tightly knit debut novel is a moving coming-of-age story with a noir twist that will appeal to readers of John Knowles’s A Separate Peace, N.H. Kleinbaum’s Dead Poets Society, and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.”
—Library Journal, starred review
Christopher Swann earned a PhD in creative writing from Georgia State University and has won awards and recognition from GSU, Washington and Lee University, and the Heekin Group Foundation’s Tara Fellowship for Short Fiction. He is the English department chair at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, where he has taught for two decades. Swann lives with his wife and two sons in Atlanta.