Director John Sayles Discusses His New Novel

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Author Event, Featured

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All Ages
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Event Details

Celebrated film director John Sayles will discuss his new book, Jamie MacGillivray: The Renegade's Journey, in conversation with Merridee Book, Executive and Artistic Director of the Coronado Island Film Festival.

A book-signing will follow. This event is free and open to the public. Seating is first-come, first-served, subject to availability. Limited preferred seating is available with purchase of Jamie MacGillivray through Warwick's bookstore. Please visit or call the store at 858-454-0347 for more information. 

John Sayles is a much-celebrated film director who has made 18 movies, beginning in 1980 when his debut Return of the Secaucus Seven was released. Among the other movies he is known for directing—and often writing as well—are LiannaBrother from Another PlanetMatewanEight Men OutCity of HopeSunshine StatePassion Fish and Lone Star, the last two of which earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay. He also has written screenplays for other directors, including the iconic 1980s horror movies The Howling and Alligator. Sayles also directed three of Bruce Springsteen’s most famed music videos for the songs Born in the USAGlory Days and I’m on Fire.

As an author, Sayles has written numerous novels and short stories since 1975, when his first novel, Pride of the Bimbos, appeared. His second novel, Union Dues, was nominated for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Subsequent books include At the Anarchist’s ConventionLos Gusanos, Dillinger in HollywoodA Moment in the Sun, and Yellow Earth. Sayles has been honored by, or been guest speaker for, such respected organizations as the American Historical Association, the Modern Language Association, and the American Studies Association. His screenplay for the film Sonora, released in 2021, won the Ariel Award, Mexico’s equivalent to the Oscar, for Best Adapted Screenplay. Sayles divides his time between Los Angeles and Connecticut. 

Jamie MacGillivray: The Renegade's Journey: 

Spanning 13 years, two continents, several wars, and many smoke-filled and bloody battlefields, John Sayles's thrilling historical and cinematic epic invites comparison with Diana Gabaldon, George R. R. Martin, Phillippa Gregory, and Charles Dickens.

It begins in the highlands of Scotland in 1746, at the Battle of Culloden, the last desperate stand of the Stuart "pretender" to the throne of the Three Kingdoms, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and his rabidly loyal supporters. Vanquished with his comrades by the forces of the Hanoverian (and Protestant) British crown, the novel's eponymous hero, Jamie MacGillivray, narrowly escapes a roadside execution only to be recaptured by the victors and shipped to Marshalsea Prison (central to Charles Dickens's Hard Times) where he cheats the hangman a second time before being sentenced to indentured servitude in colonial America for the rest of his life. His travels are paralleled by those of Jenny Ferguson, an impoverished village girl swept up on false charges by the English and also sent in chains to the New World.

The novel follows Jamie and Jenny through servitude, revolt, escape, and romantic entanglements. The two continue to cross paths with each other and with some of the leading figures of the era -- the devious Lord Lovat, future novelist Henry Fielding, the artist William Hogarth, a young and ambitious George Washington, the doomed General James Wolfe, and the Lenape chief feared throughout the Ohio Valley as Shingas the Terrible.

Merridee Book is the CEO + Artistic Director of the Coronado Island Film Festival. Before that, she spent 3 years as the Vice President of Development at the San Diego International Film Festival. She has held key positions in the arts and entertainment industry, and the non-profit sector for 30 years., working with bestselling authors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, major studios and record labels. These relationships culminated in producing and hosting an inspirational television program, DeeperLiving. She has held several board director positions including the Coronado School of the Arts and she currently sits on the board of the well-respected Patrons of the Prado, a non-profit that raises funds for ten beneficiaries in Balboa Park, the largest urban park in the U.S.