Interview: ‘Chris White’ Talks New Book The Life List Of Adrian Mandrick

Photo Madison Williams

Chris White is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, with an MFA in dramatic writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her plays have been produced nationally and internationally, and her play, Rhythms, won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play. She received an Award of Merit at the Women’s Independent Film Festival for her feature-length screenplay, Weasel in the Icebox, and her short film, Mud Lotus, was an official selection at the New Hampshire, Albany, and Cincinnati Film Festivals. White is a professor of English at DePauw University teaching creative writing. She lives near the town of Bainbridge, Indiana on Big Walnut Creek. The Life List of Adrian Mandrick is her first novel. Check out her website here, The book is in stores Tuesday, April 17. You can listen below to the interview.

H Is for Hawk meets Grief Is the Thing with Feathers in this evocative debut novel about a pill-popping anesthesiologist and avid birder who embarks on a quest to find one of the world’s rarest species, allowing nothing to get in his way—until he’s forced to confront his obsessions and what they’ve cost him.

Adrian Mandrick seems to have his life in perfect order with an excellent job in a Colorado hospital, a wife and two young children he loves deeply, and a serious passion for birding. His life list comprises 863 species correctly identified and cataloged—it is, in fact, the third longest list in the North American region.

But Adrian holds dark secrets about his childhood—secrets that threaten to consume him after he’s contacted by his estranged mother, and subsequently relapses into an addiction to painkillers. In the midst of his downward spiral, the legendary birder with the region’s second-longest life list dies suddenly, and Adrian receives an anonymous tip that could propel him to the very top: the extremely rare Ivory-billed Woodpecker, spotted deep in the swamplands of Florida’s Panhandle.

Combining sharp, elegant prose with environmental adventure, The Life List of Adrian Mandrick is a poignant, engaging story that heralds the arrival of a new literary talent.

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