Next June, Alfred A. Knopf will publish a new book by best-selling author Judy Blume; it will be her first novel for adults in over fifteen years. The announcement was made today by Carole Baron, Blume's longtime editor.
The novel, IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT, considers a startling backdrop: a series of passenger airline flights that crashed over a three-month period in 1951 and 1952 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where Blume grew up. 'These events have lingered in my mind ever since,' says Blume. 'It was a crazy time. We were witnessing things that were incomprehensible to us as teenagers. Was it sabotage? An alien invasion? No one knew, and people were understandably terrified.' The crashes resulted in the closing of Newark airport for nine months.With her rich imagination, Blume uses this background to weave together a story with an unforgettable ensemble of families and friends across three generations. The hallmark traits of Blume – a deep concern for her characters and the authentic capture of an era – are evident on every page as we see her protagonists grow up, fall in love, marry, cope with loss, deal with estranged parents and difficult friendships and familial obligations, remember the good times, and finally, wonder at the joy that keeps them going.
'Judy has been hinting at writing this book for many years,' says Baron. 'And I think she finally got to a point in her life when she couldn't hold on to the story any longer. It is a remarkable narrative – gripping and moving – and not surprisingly, a book that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.'