As a genre fiction publication created by—and for!—Emerson College students and alums, nothing gives us more pleasure than celebrating the literary achievements of our peers. This week at Page Turner Magazine, we’re taking a break from judging submissions to highlight a novel written by one of our college’s distinguished graduates, Academy Award-nominated Jeff Arch.
Usually you hear of people making the leap from page to screen, but Arch has done the reverse—more than 28 years after penning the screenplay for the beloved hit rom-com, Sleepless in Seattle, the Emerson College alum (Class of ’76) published his first novel, Attachments, in May.
In this coming-of-age novel, three best friends, Stewart “Goody” Goodman, Sandy “Pick” Piccolo, and Laura Appleby, the girl they both love, find out that their former boarding school’s dean has had a stroke. And it was upon his last breath that the dean called out their names, before he was put into a coma. Still feeling such a strong connection to their dean, the three friends return to Pennsylvania to pay their respects. Yet, old secrets and betrayals are reopened; those very secrets could potentially affect the dean’s eighteen-year-old son.
Since hitting bookshelves last May, the novel was named winner of the general fiction category of American Book Fest’s 2021 Annual “Best Book” Awards and was a finalist in the competition’s best new fiction category. Kirkus Reviews also gave it a coveted starred review, praising Arch’s “fine writing, memorable characters, depth of feeling, and gripping drama.”
And if that doesn’t convince you Arch is a compelling storyteller, wait til you hear about his filmography.
Arch was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Harrisburg Academy in 1972. From 1972 to 1976, he studied Theater and Film Production at Emerson College, where he also had a production company. Some of his most notable works include the Oscar-nominated Sleepless in Seattle screenplay, for which he was also nominated for the Writers Guild and BAFTA awards; and others such as Disney’s Iron Will, New Line’s Sealed With a Kiss, the CBS comedy Saving Milly, and the indie comedy Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys, which Arch also directed. Proof that Arch knows what he’s doing when it comes to creating great content.
In a recent interview with Kirkus, Arch revealed that although he’d considered publishing traditionally, he ultimately decided that publishing independently was the best decision for his debut novel. “I wrote the book I would be most jealous of if someone else had written it,” he told Kirkus, adding that “it feels like if a rock-’n’-roll song was a novel, this would be it.”
Just like how we all loved Sleepless in Seattle, I’m sure you’re going to love reading Attachments.