On May 2, 2023, a new book by adjunct associate professor of English Mary Beth Keane, The Half Moon, was published by Simon & Schuster. The novel tells the story of a longtime bartender, Malcolm Gephardt, and his wife, Jess. Both characters are beginning to feel their youth slip away. Following his boss’s retirement, Malcolm buys The Half Moon, the bar where he works. After trying unsuccessfully to have a child for many years, Jess is beginning to accept that motherhood may not be a reality for her.
The novel, which was named a “most anticipated book of the year” by Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, BookPage, and LitHub, follows a week in Malcolm and Jess’s lives as a blizzard hits their small town and tensions surface. The Half Moon explores themes of family, forgiveness, small-town community, and middle age. Keane is an award-winning author with a New York Times bestseller, 2019’s Ask Again, Yes. She earned her undergraduate degree at Barnard in 1999 before attaining an MFA at the University of Virginia. In 2015, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship for Fiction. Her previous books are The Walking People (2009) and Fever (2013).