The USCB Center for the Arts Lunch with Author Series is proud to welcome Oprah Book Club author Jon Clinch to Bluffton, on December 19th for a special event. Clinch will discuss his latest novel, The General and Julia, which tells the story of Ulysses S. Grant during his final days, as he reflects on his life and reckons with his complicated legacy.

New York Times Bestselling Author Elizabeth Letts (A Perfect Horse and The Ride of Her Life) writes, “Every once in a while I read a book that is so utterly fascinating that I can’t stop talking about it. Jon Clinch’s The General and Julia is that book.  We meet Ulysses S. Grant as we’ve never seen him before—not just an American hero, but a loving husband, and a somewhat reluctant celebrity caught up in the razzamatazz of Gilded Age America.  Jon Clinch gives us a deeply human and compelling portrait of a man whom most of us know of—but few of us know about. A love story, a compelling piece of American history, a page-turner, with a star-studded cast of characters—not since All the Light We Cannot See have I read such a perfect example of what historical fiction should be. I predict that every book club will soon be reading this book.”

Jon Clinch is the author of several acclaimed novels, including Finn, Kings of the Earth, and The Thief of Auschwitz. He is a two-time finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship.

His first novel, Finn — the secret history of Huckleberry Finn’s father — was named an American Library Association Notable Book and was chosen as one of the year’s best books by the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the Christian Science Monitor. It won the Philadelphia Athenaeum Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Sargent First Novel Prize. His second novel, Kings of the Earth — a powerful tale of life, death, and family in rural America, based on a true story — was named a best book of the year by the Washington Post and led the 2010 Summer Reading List at O, The Oprah Magazine. His latest novel, Marley, was praised by British actor/director Simon Callow in the New York Times: “Clinch has done something remarkable in Marley, not merely offering a parergon to Dickens’s little masterpiece, imagining the soil out of which the action of A Christmas Carol grows, but creating a free-standing dystopian universe, a hideous vision of nascent capitalism in which nothing is real and every transaction is a fraud issuing from the brain of a master forger, who by the end has reduced even his own life, quite literally, to a trompe l’oeil. Clinch’s Marley is one of the great farouche characters, at once frightening and dangerously attractive.”

Jon has lectured and taught widely, in settings as varied as the National Council of Teachers of English, Williams College, the Mark Twain House and Museum, and Pennsylvania State University.

In 2008 he organized a benefit reading for the financially-ailing Twain House — enlisting such authors as Tom Perrotta, Arthur Phillips, Stewart O’Nan, and Robert Hicks — an event that literally saved the house from bankruptcy. A native of upstate New York, Jon lives with his wife in Vermont.