July 2021

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07/01/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Francine Prose with Margot Livesey
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Elliott Bay’s July begins on a high note as esteemed, award winning fiction writer Francine Prose - also masterly with non-fiction work - virtually joins to read from and discuss her fabulous new novel, The Vixen (Harper). Set primarily in New York in the early 1950s, it is first a young man’s coming into adult age, finding about work, love, life, and the many forms of navigation that ensue. And then it is much more. “Only a writer as deft and ingenious as Francine Prose could tell us the story of the American present, slantwise, through the McCarthy past. A bright Coney Island Jew tries to rise in the gin-soaked world of WASP publishing, where his job is to mash the tragedy of the Rosenberg executions into pulp. I relished every page of this hilarious, cunning and utterly engrossing novel, and came away with a startling recognition of the place we now call home.”- Danzy Senna. “A rollicking trickster of a novel, wondrously funny and wickedly addictive.” - Maria Semple. Francine Prose’s many other books include the novels, Mister Monkey, Blue Angel, A Changed Man (winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize), and such non-fiction works as Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife and Reading Like a Writer. She is a former president of PEN America and is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College. Francine Prose will appear in conversation with novelist Margot Livesey, author most recently of The Boy in the Field (Harper) and The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing. Event Registration  
 
 
 
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07/04/2021 - 5:00pm

The Elliott Bay Book Company
Closing Early at 5pm
The Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 Tenth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
We are closing early this evening at 5pm.
 
 

07/06/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Steve Steinberg, Larry Baldassaro, Don Zminda with Mark Armour
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Mark Armour, himself a noted author of books on baseball and the present board president of SABR (Society for American Baseball Research), which is co-presenting tonight, hosts this virtual program featuring three authors, each with new books on ballplayers of yore. Steve Steinberg, with Lyle Spatz, is here with the newly released Comeback Pitchers: The Remarkable Careers of Howard Ehmke and Jack Quinn (University of Nebraska Press). Howard Ehmke and Jack Quinn are pitchers from a century ago, both of them pitching for the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Athletics, each with various claims to fame (Jack Quinn was the oldest pitcher to ever start a World Series game and pitched until he was fifty). Lawrence Baldassaro, batting second as it were, is the author of Tony Lazzeri: Yankees Legend and Baseball Pioneer (University of Nebraska Press), Tony Lazzeri being a key member as shortstop of iconic New York Yankee teams in the 1920s and 30s, starting alongside Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, along with others. He was the first great baseball player of Italian descent, helping pave the way for Joe DiMaggio, and many others. And, coming from his on-deck position (if indeed this is the speaking order), Don Zminda with his book, Double Plays and Double Crosses: The Black Sox and Baseball in 1920 (Rowman & Littlefield). This is a newly researched account of the scandal that key Chicago White Sox players such as Shoeless Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver played, with others complicit in what unfolded, which shook baseball at the big league’s existence to the core. This evening should be fun. Co-presented by SABR and Elliott Bay Book Company. Event Registration  
 

07/07/2021 - 5:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Conjunctions 76: The Fortieth Anniversary Issue
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Conjunctions 76: The Fortieth Anniversary Issue Reading featuring Fred D’Aguiar, Samuel R. Delany, Ann Lauterbach, Sofia Samatar with Bradford Morrow Following up on a lovely virtual group program that celebrated the release of a new issue of one of his country’s eminent literary journals, Conjunctions 75, we are delighted to help celebrate today with this group reading from Conjunctions 76. Expected to join editor (and noted author) Bradford Morrow for this festive occasion are some of the most acclaimed writers at work today: Fred D’Aguiar, Samuel R. Delaney, Ann Lauterbach, and Sofia Samatar. Many things happened in 1981 (too many to note here), but the first issue of Conjunctions was released. Some of us were even in a place that got to see its arrival. Today’s readers: Fred D’Aguiar’s include the novel, Children of Paradise, the poetry collection, Letters to America, and a forthcoming memoir, Year of Plagues. Samuel R. Delany, a renowned singular figure working in various forms, has books including an autobiography, The Motion of Light in Water, a paired essay work, Times Square Red, Times Square Blue, and numerous award winning works of fiction, including the Return to Neveryon series. Ann Lauterbach’s recent poetry collection, Spell, was her tenth; she has been a contributing editor to Conjunctions since 1984, or most of the ride. Sofia Samatar is the author of four books, most recently Monster Portrait. The recipient of numerous honors, including the World Fantasy Award, she has a memoir, The White Mosque, forthcoming. Some of the other writers with work in this issue of Conjunctions are Ben Okri, Julia Alvarez, Lydia Davis, and Richard Powers. Event Registration  
 

07/08/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Christine Platt with Ijeoma Oluo
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
The author of numerous books for readers of all ages, Christine Platt has also been cultivating and curating a persona and view to things material and otherwise that culminate in her being known as The Afrominimalist. From the sound of things, it started with figuring out what to do about her closet, but then would go on to being more intentional, purposeful, and thoughtful about what possessions to have in life, and what not. She does the virtual visit here this evening, to be in the excellent company of Ijeoma Oluo, to discuss her newest book, The Afrominimalist’s Guide to Living with Less (Tiller Press). “This book is an extraordinary, life-changing invitation to live life on your terms. Christine Platt shows us that minimalism isn't a one-size fits all, colorless lifestyle but instead a way for us to live with intention, letting go of what doesn't matter and surrounding ourselves with what does. With warmth, wisdom, humor, and radical honesty, she takes us on a journey back to the essence of minimalism.”  —Courtney Carver. “Though titled a guide, what Platt has created is less of a script or scripture, and more of a Rorschach test for each reader—especially those of us who are Black—to see ourselves in it however we need to, in hopes to make living with less, living as more.”  —Jason Reynolds. In addition to doing great work here in and for the community, community very near and very far, Ijeoma Oluo is also the author of So You Want to Talk About Race and Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America. Co-presented by the Northwest African American Museum and Elliott Bay Book Company. Event Registration  
 

07/09/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Carolyn Ferrell with Joan Silber
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
In a year with many noteworthy debut novels, Carolyn Ferrell’s bracing, beautiful Dear Miss Metropolitan (Henry Holt), is among the highlights by anyone’s reckoning.  “Sometimes, to write about a horrifying trauma and its resounding effects, you have to write toward the heart of the matter in unexpected ways. Carolyn Ferrell does just that in her remarkable, challenging debut novel Dear Miss Metropolitan. This is the story of three girls stolen from their lives by a sadistic man, but it is also about a community that failed each of the girls and what it can be like to emerge from a very dark, damaged place on fragile footing. Dear Miss Metropolitan is a story told in brilliant, jagged fragments. It is a story that will make you uncomfortable and it will make you ache and make you rage. Ferrell's novel is a monumental provocation and heralds great things to come from an immensely talented writer.” —Roxane Gay. “Such a beautifully rendered and provocative novel. Ferrell has given me a world I could never have imagined filled with so many people I feel like I’ve always known. A stunner.” —Jacqueline Woodson. Carolyn Ferrell is also the author of the multiple-award-winning story collection, Don’t Erase Me. With Carolyn Ferrell, in conversation by virtual means this evening, we’re delighted to welcome back award-winning fiction writer Joan Silber, author of the recent novel, Secrets of Happiness. Event Registration  
 
 
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07/12/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Changing Hands Bookstore
Michael Pollan with Rick Doblin
Virtually Hosted by Changing Hands Bookstore
Along with a geographically-dispersed group of independent bookstores  - Boulder Bookstore, Changing Hands (Tempe), and Vroman’s (Pasadena - we are delighted to present this special virtual program with Michael Pollan, who has been turning readers’ minds and bodies around in different directions now for several books running. He follows his most recent, How to Change Your Mind, with This is Your Mind on Plants (Penguin Press). “Pollan centers this lucid exploration of the psycho-social impact of mind-altering plants on his personal experiences with opium, mescaline, and, most intensely, caffeine. He starts with [a] … piece about brewing opium tea from poppies, which produced mild euphoria … The second chapter ... describes a monthslong abstention from caffeine, which precipitated persistent feelings of mental dullness, and his triumphal return to coffee drinking (“Whatever I focused on, I focused on zealously and single-mindedly”). - Publishers Weekly. “Building on his lysergically drenched book How to Change Your Mind, Pollan looks at three plant-based drugs and the mental effects they can produce. . . . A lucid (in the sky with diamonds) look at the hows, whys, and occasional demerits of altering one’s mind.” —Kirkus Reviews. We won’t even go into the possibilities for watching this from one’s home, what altered state one might opt for … it’ll surely be quite an evening, whatever. Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master's thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. Rick studied with Dr. Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist.   Co-presented by Boulder Bookstore, Changing Hands Bookstore, Vroman’s Bookstore, and Elliott Bay Book Company. Event Registration  
 
 

07/14/2021 - 7:00pm

Elliott Bay Book Company YouTube Channel
Pajtim Statovci & Laura Lindstedt with David Hackston
Elliott Bay Book Company YouTube Channel
Please join us for a special program with two Finnish novelists whose Finlandia Prize winning books are now available in English translation. Pajtim Statovci, author of Bolla (Pantheon) and Laura Lindstedt, My Friend Natalia (Liveright) will appear in conversation with their translator, David Hackston. About Bolla: “Astounding writing distinguishes this portrait of love, loss, and war from Kosovo-born Finnish writer and National Book Award finalist Statovci (Crossing). The story alternates between the feverish recollections of Milos and Arsim, whose paths cross briefly but indelibly in 1995 Kosovo, where Milos, a Serb who is studying medicine, and Arsim, a married Albanian literature student, become lovers...It's an eloquent story of desire and displacement, a melancholy symphony in a heartbreaking minor key. Statovci is a master.” -Publishers Weekly.  About My Friend Natalia (Ystäväni Natalia): “Lindstedt's novel reads like the love child of a pornographer and a high theorist: Derrida meets Anaïs Nin. Ultimately, this is as much a novel about language as it is about sexuality or psychology, and translator Hackston has performed a virtuosic task capturing the Finnish pyrotechnics in English. Lindstedt may not be looking to make an exact analogy between the work of therapy and the work an artist does, but it's hard not to read this as an ars poetica: 'If you talk a lot, ' the therapist says, 'the sorrow might permanently change shape.' Bawdy and beguiling.” -Kirkus Reviews Pajtim Statovci was born in Kosovo to Albanian parents in 1990 and moved to Finland when he was two years old. He holds an MA in comparative literature and is a PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki. His first book, My Cat Yugoslavia, won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for best debut novel; his second novel, Crossing, was a finalist for the National Book Award; and Bolla was awarded Finland’s highest literary honor, The Finlandia Prize. In 2018, he received the Helsinki Writer of the Year Award. Laura Lindstedt is a significant reformer of literary fiction and much discussed critical darling. Her first novel, Sakset ("Scissors") was published in 2007 and nominated for the Finlandia Prize and second novel, Oneiron - A Phantasy about the Seconds after Death (2015), earned her the coveted Finlandia Prize. Oneiron was a candidate for the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2017. The translation rights of her latest novel My Friend Natalia have already been sold in 11 territories. She is currently revising her Ph.D. thesis on French author Nathalie Sarraute. David Hackston is a British translator of Finnish and Swedish literature and drama. His translation of Pajtim Statovci's Crossing was a finalist for the National Book Award. Co-presented by the Consulate General of Finland in New York and The Elliott Bay Book Company. This pre-recorded program will remain live through July 31. Pre-register to receive the link to the program and to order copies of the books. Event Registration  
 
 
 
 
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07/18/2021 - 1:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Adrian Matejka with Nate Marshall and Erin Belieu
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Poet Adrian Matejka, whose four previous collections include Map to the Stars and The Big Smoke, which was a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist, and which did win the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, gives this virtual reading today for his newest collection, Somebody Else Sold the World (Penguin). “With blazing virtuosity, Matejka returns in prime form for a wildly syncopated romp—ballasted with earth and music and bombast—serving all the right notes. These poems slyly sit at the intersection of revelation and delicious formal audacity, ‘magnificent & stark inside the addendum, like a big breath exhaled through the best part of a question mark.’” —Aimee Nezhukumatathil. “Adrian Matejka’s muscular and mellifluous soundtrack is a savvy directive that reminds us that even chaos has a rhythm you can dance to. With a masterful ear for lyric and eye for the detail that jolts and surprises, the poet adroitly reintroduces us to a world where a simple breath was never too much—here are reminders of love’s fractured mechanics, the heart-rending frailty of fathers, that twinge in the belly at the first downbeat of that song. Matejka even manages to dismantle that wee icon of violence—the bullet—until it is bared of its sin, its ability to end every story it enters. In Somebody Else Sold the World, we revisit the life we were living before the life we’re scarcely living now.” —Patricia Smith. For this reading, he will have the good company of poets Nate Marshall, most recently out with the collection, Finna, and Erin Belieu, who has a new book out from Copper Canyon, Come-Hither Honeycomb. Event Registration  
 

07/19/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Andrew Palmer and Andrew Martin
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Seattle-based writer Andrew Palmer is virtually here, if not perhaps also visiting Elliott Bay, but for this reading from his much-praised debut novel, The Bachelor (Hogarth). “Jane Austen might have written a book like this: a pitch-perfect story of the self-conscious agonies of searching for someone to marry, composed with a mastery of free indirect style; a piece of art as dizzying as the technological and cultural changes of its time, but in conversation with the works of the past. The Bachelor may be a satire, except that it is utterly sincere. The whole time I was reading it, I felt terrifically happy.”—Salvatore Scibona. “I will read anything Andrew Palmer writes. With shades of W. G. Sebald, Frederick Exley, and Ben Lerner, and a warmth and humor all its own, Palmer’s first novel shows the hidden currents that bind our culture in songs of longing and hope—from John Berryman to dating shows, Homo literatus to NBA basketball, high lyricism to winter in the suburban Midwest. It is the definitive (literary) word on our reality-television era.”—Greg Jackson. Reading with Andrew Palmer tonight is Andrew Martin, author most recently of the story collection, Cool for America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). He is also the author of the novel Early Work, a New York Times Notable Book of 2018 and his stories, essays and reviews have been published in The Paris Review, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, Harper's, and The New York Times Book Review. “Martin’s fictional universe of drugs and disappointment, cleverness and self-doubt, shot through with flashes of crackling lucidity, is funny but empathetic toward its deeply flawed characters. Reminiscent of Denis Johnson ’s beautiful and insightful 1992 debut, Jesus’s Son, Cool for America thrives in the same gorgeous space between chaos and contemplation. In short: Bad people can be good, and they’re generally fun to read about.” —Nathan Deuel, Los Angeles Times Event Registration  
 

07/20/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Catherine Raven with Lyanda Lynn Haupt
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Talk about a book doing unusual double duty, and a debut book at that. Catherine Raven’s chronicle of her personal journey into adulthood, Fox and I, is not only her first book, but the first of a new publishing enterprise, Spiegel and Grau, launched by two esteemed veterans of the book trade, Cindy Spiegel and Julie Grau. And, the overriding subject of Catherine Raven’s book is serving as part of Spiegel and Grau’s logo. That would be the memorable fox Catherine Raven engages in this striking book. “[An] offbeat and charming memoir. .... Along with reverently describing her furry friend—who had a ‘face so innocent that you would have concluded that he never stalked a bluebird, let alone dismembered one’—Raven writes poetically about the flora (“my sun-worshipping tenants”) and fauna around her. Rich and meditative, Raven’s musings on nature and solitude are delightful company.” —Publishers Weekly. "Fox and I is a mesmerizing, beautifully written, and entirely unsentimental book about the connection amongst all things: the author and her fox friend, but also magpies, brown dogs, fawns, voles, and junipers. I learned as much about the meaning of friendship from this book as I have from any work of nonfiction that I’ve ever read." —Will Schwalbe. Joining Catherine Raven in conversation for this will be Seattle writer Lyanda Lynn Haupt, most recently author of the delightful Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit - and who is known for keeping company with a particular starling. Event Registration  
 

07/21/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Eric Dean Wilson with Mark Harris
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Timely in a way that may challenge more than comfort, Eric Dean Wilson’s compelling first book looks at the costs of keeping ourselves cool, and the heating that alone engenders in After Cooling: On Freon, Global Warming, and the Terrible Cost of Comfort (Simon & Schuster). He appears in conversation with editor and journalist Mike Harris. “As entertaining as it is edifying. You'll learn what put a ‘hole’ in the ozone layer, how the Rivoli movie theatre in New York inaugurated our present ice age, who in this country is still hoarding Freon, how air conditioning is exacerbating heat waves – and lots of other ecological horrors. This is a brilliantly researched book.”— Edmund White. “After Cooling is a deeply discomforting book – and that's the point. Eric Dean Wilson's message, which could not be more timely, is that we need to rethink how we live and what we want.”— Elizabeth Kolbert. “Meticulously researched and engagingly written, After Cooling is essential reading for the planetary crisis.”— Amitav Ghosh. Eric Dean Wilson’s essays, poems, and criticism have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books and Tin House, among other publications. A graduate of The New School’s creative writing MFA program, Wilson is pursuing a PhD in the English Program at The Graduate Center, CUNY, where his work focuses on American studies, environmental humanities, and the Black radical tradition. He currently teaches writing at Queens College. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, he now lives in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Mark Harris is the author of Mike Nichols: a Life, Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood, which was a New York Times notable book of the year, and Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War. He is currently a writer for New York, where he often covers the intersection of culture and politics. He lives in New York City with his husband, Tony Kushner. Event Registration  
 

07/22/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Seattle Public Library
Nobuko Miyamoto & Friends
Virtually Hosted by Seattle Public Library
Please join us for this evening with acclaimed artist, musician and activist Nobuko Miyamoto, whose new book, Not Yo’ Butterfly: My Long Song of Relocation, Race, Love and Revolution was just published by the University of California Press. Joining her at this virtual special Seattle book tour stop are University of Washington professor Vincent Schleitwiler, Ph.D, spoken word artist and UW Senior Artist in Residence Anida Yoeu Ali, UW Professor and Women Who Rock organizer Michelle Habell-Pallan, artist and designer Asiyah Ayubbi and Community Art Activist and Organizer Linda M. Ando. Deborah Wong, editor of Not Yo' Butterfly, will moderate the program. "With the thousands of existing books on white history and culture, Not Yo' Butterfly by Nobuko Miyamoto is a much needed, must-read book on Asian Pacific Americans and how we too have sung America. In her life, Nobuko has lived and experienced a wide-breadth of history: World War II incarceration and its aftermath; art—dancing and singing with American icons; and culture—being mixed herself and mixing it up more with her son and husband. And in each area—in history, art, and culture—she has been a leader of the best kind—unintentional—trailblazing pathways for generations whose own efforts would be rockier without her."—Karen L. Ishizuka. In addition to Not Yo’ Butterfly, Nobuko Miyamoto has a long-awaited new musical release, 120,000 Stories, out from Smithsonian Folkways.   This program is presented by the Seattle Public Library, Seattle JACL, Densho and the Elliott Bay Book Company and will be (virtually) hosted by Seattle Public Library as a Zoom webinar.   Event registration  
 

07/23/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Chicago Quarterly Review: Anthology of Black American Literature Group Reading
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Much-honored and -awarded Seattle novelist, philosopher, essayist, literary scholar, short-story writer, cartoonist, illustrator, children’s book author, emeritus University of Washington professor Dr. Charles Johnson has of late also served as guest editor for the Chicago Quarterly Review and its newest issue, an Anthology of Black American Literature. For this evening’s virtual program, eight contributors are expected to read prose and poems: Cyrus Cassells, Louis Chude-Sokei, Peter J. Harris, Le Van D. Hawkins, David Nicholson, Sharyn Skeeter, and Clifford Thompson, along with Charles Johnson himself. They are among the more than twenty-five writers who have work included, among them Rita Dove, E. Ethelbert Miller, Jeffrey Renard Allen, and Rachel Eliza Griffiths. Key to this all is the role of Charles Johnson, who, for all the distinctions and kudos that have come his way, the many splendid books he’s written, we will always be grateful to for being part of our very first author reading series in the fall of 1984. Also to say, that along the way, part of what he’s done, as he’s doing here, is help showcase the work of others writers, particularly those just beginning, or not so widely known. Event Registration  
 

07/24/2021 - 1:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Tahmima Anam with Shahina Piyarali
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
A novelist who has garnered praise and awards for her first three novels, all set around and amidst turmoil, trauma, and transition coming from Bangladesh’s creation as a country, Dhaka-born Tahmima Anam virtually joins us from her present home in London to read from and discuss her very different new novel, The Startup Wife (Scribner). When we say ‘different’ we mean story and plot, not the quality of writing. If anything, Tahmima Anam’s writing genius is even more evident here, in a novel that has seriousness about meaning, purpose, and love central to things, but also has some of the most wicked, scathing, brilliant wit we have seen anywhere in some time. The startup world of tech companies do lend themselves to that - and Tahmima Anam does not disappoint. “This scathing and brutally funny novel skewers startup culture and workaholism with the perfect story for our precarious moment. Tahmima Anam has written an absolute page-turner full of heart, wit, and insight about obsession, how we treat others, and when we stand up for ourselves. A revealing depiction of ways people gain power through work—and lose it.”—V.V. Ganeshananthan. “Fresh, funny, brave, savage, smart. Tahmima Anam hits every note perfectly in this novel about our new reality and the age-old problems of men and women that no app can fix.”—Kamila Shamsie. Tahmima Anam’s earlier novels are A Golden Age, The Good Muslim, and The Bones of Grace. Joining Tahmima Anam in conversation today will be Seattle’s Shahina Piyarali, long active with our co-presenter Tasveer, a contributing writer to Shelf Awareness, and presently on the board of Graywolf Press. A delight this one should be. Co-presented by Tasveer and Elliott Bay Book Company. Event Registration  
 
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07/26/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Kevin O’Brien with Jennie Shortridge
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
A rite of summer, we are pretty certain, for it feels as though every summer marks the publication of a taut new thriller by much-loved Seattle writer Kevin O’Brien. Last summer, he was one of the brave first authors to see how it would go with a virtual reading, it being then new to us and to him. So we have ‘aged’ with the year. Tonight’s program celebrates the publication of his newest thriller, The Night She Disappeared (Pinnacle). This, his 22nd (!) novel, if the counting is correct, features a female Seattle TV reporter who has been involved with a married man. When that man’s wife is reported missing, her part in things gets brought to light in …. surprising ways. You might even spot a special appearance by a certain bookstore in this story. Watching Kevin O’Brien, and writer friend (and Elliott Bay friend), Seattle novelist Jennie Shortridge, who is also part of this, discuss this will no doubt shed more light on things. But reading to see what will really happen is for the reader. That to say: Kevin O’Brien has a knack in these for knowing how much to say, and how much not to. Fun, fun. Event Registration  
 

07/27/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Maya Shanbhag Lang & Marjan Kamali
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
This joint virtual reading - Maya Shanbhag Lang with a memoir, Marjam Kamali with a novel - brings to Elliott Bay, and our readers, two women with worldly stories to tell. Maya Shanbhag Lang, known previously for her excellent fiction, received considerable praise for What We Carry (Dial Press), a memoir of finding her accomplished physician mother caught in the grip of Alzheimer’s. “Maya Shanbhag Lang thought she knew her capable physician-mother, but when Alzheimer’s hit her mother early, Lang found herself adrift in a sea of unwelcome truths and ambiguous loss. Anyone facing the ordeal of caregiving, with all its love, loss, and unexpected gifts, will be inspired by this searing and extraordinary memoir.”—Katy Butler. Marjan Kamali follows up her well-received first novel, Together Tea, with her newest, The Stationery Shop (Gallery). “Spanning decades and continents, Marjan Kamali’s richly imagined novel immerses us in the blossoming love affair between two Iranian teenagers, set against the political upheaval of 1950s Tehran. Evocative, devastating, and hauntingly beautiful, The Stationery Shop explores love’s power to transcend time and distance—and the ways fate can tear people apart and bring them back together. This book broke my heart again and again.”– Whitney Scharer. Event Registration  
 

07/28/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Omar El Akkad with Jeff VanderMeer
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Novelist Omar El Akkad, now living south of here in Portland, but for many years an award-winning international journalist living and working out of Toronto, blew readers away a few years ago with his eerily prescient first novel, American War. He gave a moving reading from that at Elliott Bay. We anticipate similar engagement for readers attending this - and reading - his haunting, beautifully written new novel, What Strange Paradise (Knopf). There is an overwhelmed boat filled with refugees fleeing homelands such as Syria, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Palestine, a boat which, in time, capsizes. There is a survivor, a young boy, and his attempts to elude would-be captors, aided by a young girl living on the island he has washed ashore upon. These are the bare bones of what Omar El Akkad does with extraordinary skill, empathy, compassion. “What Strange Paradise is by turns tender and brutal in its truths. It is tremendously written, propulsive as it is expansive as it is granular in its specificities. Omar El Akkad writes with such emotional precision, power, and grace. Here we get the wondrousness of children set in sharp relief against a backdrop of the all too common dehumanization then dismissal of refugees everywhere. The book devastates and uplifts, somehow, and we are not left with hope—that isn’t the point—but asked to witness, to see what is here, with clarity, and with fullness of heart.” —Tommy Orange. “What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad just resuscitated my heart. This novel—following a boy who survives a refugee passage, and a girl whose homeland feels fractured—dares to unite us on the shore of shared human experience, and redefines hope in the face of despair. I want to read this book every single day. I want to live in a world where the beauty of strangers is a heartsong.”  —Lidia Yuknavitch. With Omar El Akkad in conversation this evening will be the wonderful writer Jeff VanDerMeer, who recently did an evening such as this for Elliott Bay readers with his own newest novel, Hummingbird Salamander. A generous supporter of other writers and many good causes, he and Omar El Akkad have some interesting shared literary ‘history’ of a good sort, which will no doubt come out this evening. Event Registration  
 

07/29/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Sergio Troncoso, Octavio Solis & Domingo Martinez
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Sergio Troncoso, author of such books as The Last Tortilla and Other Stories, A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant’s Son, and Crossing Borders, as well as a resident faculty member of the Yale Writers’ Workshop, is for this evening and occasion also an editor, as he and two contributors to his edited anthology, Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in Between Worlds (Texas A&M University Press) read from and discuss their work tonight. Two writers based here in the Northwest, Domingo Martinez (The Boy Kings of Texas, My Heart is a Drunken Compass) and playwright Octavio Solis, are expected to join Sergio Toncoso for this virtual program. Nepantla Familias includes over twenty writers, Reyna Grande, Francisco Cantú, Rigoberto González, and Helena Maria Villamontes among them.  "Such a window, such an ax, into the hard, human struggles of writers, sisters and brothers here — resolving, harmonizing and perhaps, simply just telling their Nepantlas. These lives in-between bridges of culture, of gender, of memory and presence, invisibility and courage, of raped bodies on the precipice of healing and wholeness, of speaking versus silence, of shame in-between wholeness, of big time university life then riding back to Segundo Barrio DNA. And of mothers drifting and daughters blazing in the Now. Each page, a revelation. Each story, a valley of tears and a mountain of triumph. This Nepantla Familia will tear your heart open. You will finally get to feel like a human being. You will have humanity in your hands. One of a kind, I thank Troncoso for this anthology — I bow before these writers of truth and love. A mega-ground-crackling and life expanding house of diamonds."—Juan Felipe Herrera. Event Registration  
 

07/30/2021 - 6:00pm

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Susie Yang with Asha Lemmie
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
A writer who has made her work in other fields  - pharmacy work, then a tech startup - Susie Yang is now doing so in fiction, with her debut novel, White Ivy (now out in paperback from Simon & Schuster), making several Best of 2020 lists. Tonight she'll appear in conversation with Asha Lemmie. "Susie Yang’s dark, spellbinding debut gives insight into the immigrant experience and life in the upper class, challenging the stereotypes and perceptions associated with both. The surprising twists, elegant prose, and complex characters in this coming-of-age story make this a captivating read." —Booklist. "It's a testament to Susie Yang's skill that she can explore and upend our ideas of class, race, family, and identity while moving us through a plot that twists in such wonderful ways. But none of that would matter nearly as much if not for the truly unforgettable narrator, Ivy, who is so hypnotic, the way her voice feels both wild and controlled. She ran right through me." — Kevin Wilson. Asha Lemmie is the New York Times-bestselling author of Fifty Words for Rain. Event Registration  
 
 
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