Best-selling author Joanne Harris will appear at the Columbus Performing Arts Center, 549 Franklin Ave., at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 28, as part of the Thurber House "Evenings with Authors" series.

Best-selling author Joanne Harris will appear at the Columbus Performing Arts Center, 549 Franklin Ave., at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 28, as part of the Thurber House "Evenings with Authors" series.

Harris will read from "The Girl With No Shadow," the sequel to the best-selling novel "Chocolat," which was adapted into the Oscar-nominated film starring Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche.

As the sequel, "The Girl With No Shadow," opens, five years have passed since Vianne, a chocolatier, her daughter, Anouk, and a new baby, Rosette, moved from the rural village that was the setting for "Chocolat" to Paris.

Vianne has changed her name, stopped making chocolate, given up her one true love Roux, who is Rosette's father, and is considering marriage to a businessman. Just when Vianne thinks she has everything figured out, a new love interest, Zozie de l'Alba, enters and turns her life upside down.

Harris recently answered questions via e-mail about her new book.

Q: Why did you decide to write "The Girl With No Shadow"? Did you originally plan to continue Vianne's story?

A: Not especially, although I knew that another story about Vianne and Anouk was certainly possible. "Chocolat" ended very much on a question mark, and "The Girl With No Shadow" answers some of the questions posed.

But it isn't really Vianne's story. This book is much more about Anouk as she grows up, and one of the reasons I wrote it when I did was that my own daughter (very much the prototype for Anouk) was reaching the age at which a child grows into her own identity and begins to question her place in the world. Thus "The Girl With No Shadow" is a story about growing up, belonging, and what it means to be an individual.

Q: Have you received a lot of feedback from readers wanting to know what happens to Vianne and her daughter Anouk after "Chocolat" ends?

A: Yes, quite a lot. I still do.

Q: Was there a particular reason you decided to have Vianne end her relationship with Roux and move her children to Paris?

A: I never imagined Vianne as the type to just fall in love and settle down. It's her dream, of course -- but how many of us find that our lives pan out exactly the way we'd intended? Vianne, like Anouk, needs to find out who she is and where she belongs. This is just one stage of her journey of self-discovery.

Q: Are there plans to adapt "The Girl With No Shadow" into a movie? If so, has Juliette Binoche signed on to reprise the lead role?

A: It would be nice, wouldn't it?

Tickets for Harris' April 28 appearance are $18 in advance, $20 at the door, with discounts for students and seniors. For tickets and more information, call (614) 464-1032 or visit www.thurberhouse.org.

cbournea@thisweeknews.com

Joanne

Harris