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Gavriel (Gavi) Savit, a 2006 Pioneer High School graduate, will hold a book signing at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at Literati Bookstore, 124 E. Washington.
After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in musical theatre in 2010, Savit moved to New York to launch his career in musical theater.
He also started to write. And unlike most new writers, he actually found a publisher. His new novel, “Anna and the Swallow Man” was recently published by Knopf’s Books for Young Readers division. It is on Indiebound’s Top 10 book recommendations in this category.
“I read the book last week and loved it,” says Susan Hurwitz, Pioneer Theatre Guild producer. “It’s so beautifully written and the story is unforgettable.”
She says Savit is “an amazing actor and singer,” who has now made a very noteworthy debut as an author.
Click here to hear a recent interview with Savit about his debut novel.
AAPS District News Editor Jo Mathis asked Savit a few questions prior to his homecoming this week:
Q: How would describe your new book?
A: Anna and the Swallow Man is a fairytale that takes place in Poland in the late ’30s and early ’40s. It follows Anna Łania, only seven years old and left alone when the war begins. She struggles to survive and avoid detection in the wilderness of Poland throughout the war in the company of a mysterious man who takes her under his wing.
Q: What was the hardest part about writing it?
A: Writing, in my view, should always be slightly uncomfortable, and for me, it always has been. Of course, it’s a thrilling, exciting, fun thing to do as well, but if you’re doing it right, you’re essentially taking a piece of yourself out of your body and pinning it down on a piece of paper. If that’s not a little uncomfortable, then you’re not doing it right.
Q: Do you prefer writing or performing?
A: They are fortunately wonderfully complimentary activities. Writing is wonderful for the control freak in me– I get to make all the decisions. On the other hand, it’s a very solitary activity. Performing is a great, communal, social form of artistry.
Q: What was your favorite subject in school, and why?
A: My favorite subject in school always happened after the final bell of the final period– Pioneer Theatre Guild in many ways made me who I am today, giving me opportunities to socialize with other kids like me and develop my artistic abilities and inclinations under the guidance of some really excellent directors and producers.
Q: What are some of your favorite memories of elementary, middle and high schools?
A: There are so many wonderful things about my childhood and schooling– I remember some wonderful, sensitive teachers at the Hebrew Day School of Ann Arbor where I went to elementary; a wonderful, comforting library at Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit, where I was in middle school; and the broad, multifarious society of Pioneer High School seemed like an inexhaustible resource in high school.
Q: What were your favorite books as a chip?
A: The works of Tolkien and Lewis and Brian Jacques and, of course, the generation defining JK Rowling were all huge for me as a kid. I very much enjoyed “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card. It’s impossible to name them all!
Q: Do you miss anything about Ann Arbor, or are you now a diehard New Yorker?
A: New York is fantastic, but it’ll never be Ann Arbor.