Longtime XPN favorite Josh Ritter has added author to his already impressive resume. It was perhaps only a natural progression for the singer-songwriter and guitarist, who is known for his extraordinary lyricism. Today marked the release of his debut novel, Bright’s Passage, a story about a young man returning home to West Virginia after World War I. Ritter will give a reading from the novel tonight at the Free Library of Philadelphia at 7:30pm. The evening will also include a Q&A session with World Cafe host David Dye, as well as a book signing.

A quote from Ritter about the book:

The central premise of Bright’s Passage is that an angel has followed young Henry Bright home from the senseless carnage of the First World War. The book follows Bright during three significant periods in his life, braiding the scenes together finally to portray a young man attempting to meet the greatest challenge of his life: returning home. The angel, perhaps a capricious refugee from the painted ceiling of a shelled French church, perhaps the dream-like manifestation of Henry Bright’s own shell-shocked mind, nevertheless takes up residence in Henry’s horse, and it is through their time with one another and the journey they take together that Bright attempts to find peace, not simply for himself, but if the angel is correct, for the entire world.

The Free Library of Philadelphia is located at 1901 Vine Street. The free, all-ages reading and interview will begin at 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public.