The White Plains Examiner

Author Chris Bohjalian, a Westchester Native, Writes 18th Novel

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Westchester native Chris Bohjalian expects to publish his next book in January 2016.
Westchester native Chris Bohjalian expects to publish his next book in January 2016.

Book publisher Penguin Random House has announced that author Chris Bohjalian’s latest novel titled “The Guest Room” will be released in hard cover by its Doubleday division on January 5, 2016.

Bohjalian, who was born in White Plains and grew up in Hartsdale, graduated from Bronxville High School where he was the editor of the school newspaper.

Three of his 17 published books have been made into motion pictures.

“The Guest Room” is about an investment banker named Richard Chapman who volunteers his house in Bronxville for his younger brother’s bachelor party.

Bohjalian told The Examiner, “In the story, the bachelor party goes horribly wrong — two men lie dead in the living room, two women are on the run from the police and a marriage is ripped apart at the seams. It’s a tale of murder and sex trafficking.”

Another Bohjalian book, “Secrets of Eden,” was made into a movie in 2012 starring John Stamos as a pastor and Anna Gunn as an investigating detective. It’s about a small-town pastor under suspicion of murder.

His book “Midwives” (chosen as an Oprah’s Book Club selection) was made into a 2001 movie starring Sissy Spacek and Peter Coyote. It’s about a Vermont midwife accused of causing the death of a patient by the patient’s husband. In researching the novel, Bohjalian conducted 65 interviews.

“Past the Bleachers” is a story about the coach of a Little League baseball team — it was made into a motion picture in 1995 starring Richard Dean Anderson.

Bohjalian’s books include “Close your Eyes, Hold Hands,” “The Sandcastle Girls,” “The Night Strangers,” “The Buffalo Soldier,” and “Skeletons at the Feast.”

“Close your Eyes, Hold Hands” is a story about Emily Shepard, a 17-year-old homeless girl who finds time during her desperate battle for survival to read and be influenced and motivated by the poems of Emily Dickinson.

At Amherst, Bohjalian was the publisher of his college newspaper called “The Amherst Student.” After majoring in American Studies and graduating in 1982, he worked at advertising firms including J. Walter Thompson.

Bike riding has long been a favorite activity; he was a member of a bike racing team for many years. His other passion is reading translated Russian literature.

Bohjalian is an accomplished public speaker.

At DeLauné Michel’s Spoken Interludes dinner/book reading program (at RiverView in Hastings-on-Hudson on June 1), Bohjalian entertained about 200 attendees by describing his misadventures on book tours such as losing his laundry on a book tour of 14 cities in 14 days.

He said his mother Annalee Bohjalian encouraged him to write at an early age. She died in 1995 but was able to read his first four books.

His 21-year-old daughter Grace Experience was the narrator for the audio book version of “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands” and is pursuing a career in the acting field.

His wife Victoria Blewer, grew up in Manhattan and is an award-winning photographer; her work has appeared in many magazines and museums and she took first place in a photography competition at the Washington Square Art Show in New York City.

Besides Westchester County, Bohjalian also lived in Miami and North Stamford. He and his family moved to Vermont in 1987 and he has been a columnist for The Burlington Free Press for nearly 24 years.

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