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Interview with Jude Kessler about new book, appearance at symposium announced

Author Jude Southerland Kessler has just released her latest book in the John Lennon Series, “She Loves You.” Previous books in the series are “Shoulda Been There” and “Shivering Inside.” We interviewed Jude briefly during a very busy (and noisy!) moment at the Fest for Beatles Fans, about the book, and you can watch that video here at this page. Also it has just been announced today, February 18, 2014, that Ms. Kessler will be appearing at University of Pennsylvania’s Beatles symposium, “Tomorrow Never Knows: The Beatle in Text and Image” on February 27, and March 1, 2014. (see details below)

The John Lennon Series is written in a “bio-novel” format. Although her books read as a novel, they are based on thoroughly researched historical events. She told us in our interview that this book begins with the controversial trip John Lennon took with manager Brian Epstein to Spain in 1963. Leaving his wife Cynthia behind to care for newborn Julian, he embarks on a strange vacation that will spark rumors upon his return. The fact that Brian was a homosexual raised eyebrows. Jude deals deftly and bravely with the issue, painting a scene that brings the reader closer to this vacation in Spain than you might ever have imagined. The writing is powerful. We have been captivated with her style in this book, and it certainly has grabbed our attention.

The book proceeds through the Beatles’ arrival in America in February of 1964. The prologue is written by John Lennon’s friend Bill Harry, of Merseybeat, and the foreword is written by Larry Kane. (Also watch our interview here with Larry Kane at the Fest about his book, “When They Were Boys.”

Ms. Kessler will appear twice at the “Tomorrow Never Knows” Beatles Symposium:

There will be an opening of the exhibition, “Tomorrow Never Knows: The Beatles in Text and Image” February 27, 5:30-7 p.m., in the first floor Kamin Gallery, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Jude will do a book signing here with the Philadelphia launch of “She Loves You.” The reception is free and open to the public. Also appearing at the opening reception will be EMI recording engineer Richard Langham, who worked as the second engineer during the Beatles recording of their LP, Please Please Me.(See here for more details.)

Then Saturday, March 1, in conjunction with the symposium, Jude will be among a panel of experts, offering a presentation called “Historiography: The Rewriting of the Beatles." Other speakers at the two-day symposium, include Larry Kane,(author of three Beatles related books including his latest, “When They Were Boys”) and Al Sussman (author of “Changin’ Times”.)

The symposium takes place in the Class of 1978 Pavilion, at the Library’s Kislak Center, on Friday 4-7:30 p.m., and on Saturday 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Registration is required.

“The Beatles in Text and Image—Materiality and Meaning Symposium” will, according to their website, “explore the phenomenon of the Fab Four’s extraordinary popularity that spawned a musical and cultural revolution during the rapidly changing political and social climate of the Sixties. David McKnight, director of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, began planning the symposium two years ago. An avid book collector and Beatles’ fan, Mr. McKnight says his interest in the group resurfaced with the 1995 publication of The Beatles Anthology.”

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Copyright notice-©Shelley Germeaux 2013: This article and photos are subject to copyright restrictions and may not be reproduced without the author’s permission. Excerpts with link to original article are welcomed.

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