Pearl Whitfield will give a free reading of her recently published second novel, “Apsara,” at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at the Provincetown Public Library.
Her two books examine different eras and societies, but both draw upon her experiences in Cambodia and rural America, according to a press release. For the last several years, Whitfield has spent a considerable amount of time in Cambodia where her daughter and grandson live. When not in Cambodia, she lives in a small town in the high desert of eastern Oregon. Prior to living there, she was in rural Vermont for nearly 30 years.
Whitfield was born on the Cape, with her earliest memories of the beach in Dennis.
“Apsara” is set in 12th century Cambodia, where a young girl in a remote village is chosen to train as a court dancer (apsara) for Cambodia’s most famous king. Apsaras dance to bring heaven to earth, blessing the land with prosperity. Bopha walks to Angkor Wat and begins a life she never could have imagined.
This work of historical fiction grew from an experience Whitfield had in 2013, in
Cambodia at the museum in Siem Reap (the town closest to Angkor Wat). The book
had a long incubation after 2013, but then was written in less than two years. “In a way,
it wrote itself,” Whitfield said. “I just had to sit down and listen.”
“The Storekeeper, A Tale of Small Town Life” is a modern day story about a man who, after his wife dies, loads the dog in the truck and drives around until he gets to a small town in the West. Ralph buys the mom-and-pop store, enters into community life, and begins to heal from his grief.
Her books steer clear of current cultural flashpoints, and intended as sweet reads with deeper meaning.
Both books are available on Amazon in print and Kindle format, and at selected independent booksellers.