by Melissa Diamond for thedailyuw.com
If you’re looking for a book this Valentine’s Day but aren’t in the mood for a typical romance novel, The Professor’s Wife by Nick DiMartino, UW graduate and book buyer at the University Book Store, might be just right.
The launch party for the book took place Sunday afternoon at the U Book Store.
“In a funny way you could say The Professor’s Wife is a romance novel, but in reverse,” DiMartino said. “It isn’t pursuing romance. The professor is utterly in love with his wife, but something is wrong because she is not completely telling him the truth anymore. It’s his attempt to understand what is really going on in his house and his marriage. It’s the fear of losing what you love, not the fear of not being able to get it.”
In attendance were many loyal fans of DiMartino. His role as a book buyer means that he helps people choose which books to buy, makes the table arrangements, and hosts book clubs for the surrounding community.
“I love Nick’s writing and I’ve read many of his books,” said Bonnie Langsea, an attendee.
The event began with Brad Craft, another book buyer at the U Book Store, introducing DiMartino.
“What matters to Nick is the reading and the writing.” Craft said. “But more so, I think what matters to him is the company of readers, fellow enthusiasts, the like-minded. He may not tell you, but I think Nick’s primary concern is being a good man and making a life with good people in it, even if he sometimes has to resort to inventing some of them himself.”
DiMartino took the stage and described themes he has noticed in much of his writing, including local realism, the idea that people are unknowable, and the importance of friendship.
“I noticed that if I look back through high school or college, the times are defined by people that were my friends,” DiMartino said. “I love having friendships in my stories, and the more awkward or difficult I can make the friendships, the more I can give them something to overcome.”
DiMartino has been working on campus for over 40 years, and that’s where he found his inspiration for “The Professor’s Wife,” which he began working on in 2004.
“There’s an urge to write a campus novel where you have all the elements,” DiMartino said. “So I have a young professor who really cares a lot about his job, a genius student who’s been home schooled, and the Iraq War is going on, so some political things happening. I got to a plot that was extremely devious: lots of little red herrings and false turns. I got to really make what I felt was my big fruitcake for the university.”
The book is DiMartino’s latest, but certainly not his first. As a writer who loves to draw on his surroundings, DiMartino’s first writing success came when his fifth grade teacher asked him to share a piece he’d been working on during recess about an alien invasion at his school. Since then, he has published over 10 novels and many plays as well.
“If you can make suspense out of reality, that’s the highest and the best,” DiMartino said.
Read more of the article here.
Autographed copies of The Professor’s Wife are available at the University Book Store, while supplies last.