Bennington native Cale to discuss debut novel at Northshire

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Several years ago, Andrea Cale was attending a New England Patriots game with her husband when an idea for a book struck her.

"I don't remember the details of the game. But the former reporter in me looked around the stadium I noticed all the different stories surrounding me. I was intrigued by the concept of strangers brought together in [a certain] moment of time," she said.

This experience sparked Cale's inspiration to write her first novel, a project that took more than ten years to finish. The Vermont native and Mount Anthony Union High School graduate will share her novel, "The Corn Husk Experiment," on Saturday, June 30 at 6 p.m. at the Northshire Bookstore.

"The Corn Husk Experiment" follows five characters, a shy boy, troubled dancer, lonely photographer, gifted quarterback and self-declared misfit, who don't appear to have anything in common. Each character has his or her own storyline, yet they all converge at a football stadium in gritty, roller coaster fashion. And ultimately, they aren't as different as they seem.

Throughout the story of contrast, Cale emphasizes the significance of empathy. With today's current political climate, Cale believes it's more important than ever to understand each person's viewpoint while recognizing their pasts.

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Cale spent most of her childhood in Bennington. She graduated from Mount Anthony in 1995 before studying journalism at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She continued a postgraduate education, earning a master's degree from Boston University's College of Communication.

Writing was one of Cale's earliest passions. "For the superlatives in the MAU yearbook, I was voted 'Most shy,'" she said. "Writing was an easier way for me to communicate. I remember quietly trying to figure people out and understand their views. That's what led me into journalism."

The author can't wait to return to the state where she waited on tables, skied at Stratton and even interned at the Bennington Banner. She describes the Northshire Bookstore as, "One of the best bookstores in the country." Cale is excited, honored, and humbled to visit Northshire as an author. "It's surreal," she said.

Cale's event be a meet and greet. She looks forward to signing books and meeting readers. She will also personally accept nominations for The Good News Experiment, a real-life spin-off from the book and an initiative to recognize unsung community heroes. For more information, visit andreacalebooks.com.

Emma LeMay is a Sandgate resident and Marist College student.


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