Malaprop’s Bookstore hosts Ed Tarkington

Malaprop’s Bookstore, located at 55 Haywood St., delivers fun and interesting adventures for its customers through stories, events and the unique knick knacks they have for sale around the store.

Last Wednesday, Malaprop’s author event coordinator, Cindy Norris, scheduled Ed Tarkington for a reading of his debut novel, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart.”

Tarkington said he began touring and speaking about his book Feb. 5 and hosts events two to three days a week.

Hailing from Lynchburg, Virginia, Tarkington humbly explained how he came to write this novel, a deeply satisfying page-turner about a younger brother named Rocky and his enamoration with his teenage half-brother Paul, whom Tarkington describes being “sometimes cruel, but very cool.”

Set in 1970s Virginia, the story is narrated by an adult-voiced Rocky as he grows up too quickly, navigating through a world in which he experienced a gory double murder to which his brother might be guilty.

Tarkington explained to the audience that the novel is an “honest, telescope exaggeration” of the world he came out of; his “feelings on steroids.”

The author quoted Faulkner when he said nothing interesting happens between the age of 20 to 40, stating the purpose of his writing is to work out his own obsessions and deal with what happened in his past to alter his view of the world.

Two women stood out in the crowd, fawning over every word Tarkington uttered. Arriving three minutes past the start time with Tarkington’s older sister, these women clutched their worn copies of “Only Love Can Break Your Heart.”

They explained after their copies were signed by the author that they are members of Fine Print, a Spartanburg, South Carolina based book club. They got in contact with the author’s sister who lives there as well and they carpooled to Asheville just for the hour long event and returned right after.

They said two other members of Fine Print were unable to make Wednesday night’s author event in Asheville, but would be attending Tarkington’s next event the day after in Charlotte, North Carolina.