Acclaimed ‘Monument Road’ novel set in Grand Junction | PostIndependent.com

Acclaimed ‘Monument Road’ novel set in Grand Junction

Sharon Sullivan
ssullivan@gjfreepress.com

Grand Valley residents will recognize the setting of Charlie Quimby's new novel "Monument Road," a book that takes its title from the road that runs near the author's Grand Junction home.

The story is set in the Glade Park area and is about a rancher named Leonard Self who had promised his late wife that he will take her ashes to a favorite overlook.

"Because he believes his own life is over, he plans to go with her ashes," Quimby said during a recent telephone interview.

The story begins with Leonard leaving his ranch, going to town, and killing time before setting out for Monument Road. Along the way, a series of events occur and other characters with connections to Monument Road come into play while the story moves back and forth in time.

Quimby, who spends most of the year at his home in Minnesota, will be in Grand Junction for two book events. A 5:30 p.m. reception is planned for Tuesday, Nov. 12, at Grand Valley Books, 350 Main St. Quimby will read from his book at 6:20 p.m.

"I'll talk about the making of the book; why it's set in Grand Junction, and open it to questions," Quimby said.

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The following day, Wednesday, Nov. 13, Quimby will be at Barnes and Noble Booksellers from 2-4 p.m. to sign books and talk to those who stop by.

Quimby, 64, was born in Rifle and grew up in Glenwood Springs until his high school years, at which time he moved to the Grand Valley. He graduated from Grand Junction High School in 1967.

"Monument Road" is Quimby's first novel, although he's always been a writer. He worked first as a freelance arts journalist after college, before moving into corporate and nonprofit writing, and starting his own business, Words at Work. He sold the business in 2006, the year he and his wife bought land and built a house in Grand Junction. He's currently working on his second novel.

Quimby was inspired to base his story in Grand Junction after coming back after 40 years of living in Minnesota. He said he was struck by the beauty, as well as the area's geological and political diversity.

"You are somehow connected to the place where you were born," Quimby said. "Coming back activated that feeling and desire to write about place."

Published by Torrey House Press, the book has received high praise as a November 2013 Indie Next List selection, as well as a Publishers Weekly Big Indie Book of Fall 2013.

The American Booksellers Association represents Independent Book Sellers (such as Crystal Books and Grand Valley Books). A committee of booksellers around the country screen and select books to highlight new authors' works worthy of notice.

For the Indie Next List, 20 titles were selected from thousands of books published in a given month. "Monument Road" was chosen along with books by well-known authors such as Wally Lamb.

The award is a "great honor," Quimby said. "It says booksellers who read, love and sell books decided this is one of those books. It's a huge compliment."

"Monument Road" was also one of 35 chosen out of thousands of books reviewed by Publishers Weekly for its Big Indie Book of Fall award.

After reading an advance copy of Quimby's novel, Grand Junction resident Charles Kerr wrote this about it: "Monument Road is a wonderful novel full of wit and wisdom, generosity and malice. Like the diverse and rugged geology of Colorado's West Slope, the novel presents an array of engaging characters — stoic ranchers, passionate Christians, high school misfits, and others — who interact in unforeseen ways engendering love and death, hope and despair. 'The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you' as does this insightful novel.

"The breeze at dawn" refers to a Rumi (the 13th century Persian poet and theologian) poem that figures in the story, Quimby said.

Go&Do

WHAT: Book-signing of “Monument Road” by Charlie Quimby

WHEN: 2-4 p.m. Wed., Nov. 13

WHERE: Barnes and Noble Booksellers, 2451 Patterson Road

INFO: 970-243-5113

Go&Do

WHAT: Book-signing and reading event with writer Charlie Quimby, author of “Monument Road”

WHEN: Tues., Nov. 12; 5:30 p.m. reception, 6:20 p.m. reading

WHERE: Grand Valley Books, 350 Main St.

INFO: 970-424-5437