Melanie Conroy-Goldman had been working on her new book The Likely World over the past 48 years, so her book launch set for August 2020 was understandably a meaningful affair— the debut culmination of a life’s work— but 2020 has seen many plans turned awry thus far.
But for the resourceful Ithaca-based author who is Conroy-Goldman, this debut won’t be stopped. She will host the world’s first drive-in book launch at the Fingerlakes Drive-in, the longest running drive-in theatre in the country, and forego the tiny indoor venue she’d originally intended to be seen at, due to COVID-19 concerns.
The drive-in theatre received a green light to continue operation back in May, and since then other drive-ins have followed suit, reopening for the season as new ones have even popped up.
Besides allowing for social distancing and a safer interaction space— seeing as it's outdoors— The Fingerlakes also has a large stage which Conroy-Goldman will use to chat with Bob Proehl, a local favorite and author of The Nobody People (2019).
The event will be free and there are plans to give away swag bags and snacks, as well. Attendees can also opt to have their books signed by the author.
“We’re working on lots of other ideas - like having guests hang a light from their side view mirror if they'd like me to come by and sign books and check in in person,” said Conroy-Goldman. “People who are comfortable can set up chairs outside of their cars, and I can mingle. We’ll sell books to anyone who requests one at registration, and we’ll partner with a local bookstore to have copies available on the night too. Hashtag? #Parkandread”
Following the chat, The Fingerlakes Drive-In will screen the 80’s classic movie Say Anything to complement Conroy-Goldman’s book, which takes place during the same decade in Boston. The Likely World has received positive reviews for its “exquisite prose” and been called a “propulsive debut” by Publisher’s Weekly. The story is a post-modern, dystopian, coming-of-age story in which a fictional drug that generates alternate realities and amnesia makes finding salvation for the protagonist nearly impossible in the upturned, eighties American landscape.
“I’ve spent 48 years writing The Likely World,” said Conroy-Goldman, “and Covid-19 devastated my launch plans. There are ten virtual stops on my tour, for which I’m grateful, but I wanted to celebrate the book’s birthday with the many people who helped me bring it into the world and it wouldn’t be the same without safe in-person interactions. This is an incredible opportunity to do that.”
For tickets visit:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/likely-world-book-launch-save-the-date-tickets-110398045526 | PG-13. Admission is for one car.
Date and Time:
Tue, August 4, 2020
8:00 PM – 11:00 PM EDT
Fingerlakes Drive-In 1064 Clark Street Road Auburn, NY 13021 United States (Four miles west of Auburn on routes 5 & 20)