It's back! First Fiction returns to Changing Hands Bookstore, now at our own First Draft Book Bar. Three first-time fiction writers read excerpts from their brand new buzz-worthy novels while YOU enjoy happy hour prices at the bar. Afterwards, we'll open the floor to questions, then crank some music for an informal mixer and booksigning with the authors. (Please note: this is a FREE event. No tickets required!)
ABOUT THE BOOKS AND AUTHORS:
MY ABSOLUTE DARLING by Gabriel Tallent
«There are books we like well enough to recommend, but there are a very few—To Kill a Mockingbird, Catch-22, The Things They Carried—that we remember forever. To my own shortlist I can now add My Absolute Darling, by Gabriel Tallent. Fourteen-year-old Turtle Alveston is a brilliantly rendered creation, and her father is the most terrifyingly believable human monster to inhabit the pages of a novel since Harry Powell in The Night of the Hunter. This book is ugly, beautiful, horrifying, and uplifting.» — Stephen King
ABOUT THE BOOK: Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father. Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. The reader tracks Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, and watches, heart in throat, as she struggles to become her own her—and in the process, becomes ours as well.
GIRL IN SNOW by Danya Kukafka
«From its startling opening line right through to its stunning conclusion, Girl in Snow is a perfectly paced and tautly plotted literary thriller. Danya Kukafka’s misfit characters are richly drawn, her prose is both elegant and eerie—this is an incredibly accomplished debut.” — Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train
ABOUT THE BOOK: When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched—not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters—Cameron, Jade, and Russ—must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both. In crystalline prose, Danya Kukafka offers a brilliant exploration of identity and of the razor-sharp line between love and obsession, between watching and seeing, between truth and memory.
THE LAST DAYS OF CAFE LEILA by Donia Bijan
“A glorious treat awaits you at the literary table of Donia Bijan. This debut novel has it all, a compelling story of family, faith and love told with a longing heart and an appetite for life beyond the small Iranian village where Noor's roots are planted and her wings were born. What a stunning novel! Inspiring, evocative and emotionally satisfying.” — Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of The Shoemaker's Wife
ABOUT THE BOOK: Set against the backdrop of Iran's rich, turbulent history, this exquisite debut novel is a powerful story of food, family, and a bittersweet homecoming. When we first meet Noor, she is living in San Francisco, missing her beloved father, Zod, in Iran. Now, dragging her stubborn teenage daughter, Lily, with her, she returns to Tehran and to Cafe Leila, the restaurant her family has been running for three generations. Iran may have changed, but Cafe Leila, still run by Zod, has stayed blessedly the same—it is a refuge of laughter and solace for its makeshift family of staff and regulars. As Noor revisits her Persian childhood, she must rethink who she is—a mother, a daughter, a woman estranged from her marriage and from her life in California. And together, she and Lily get swept up in the beauty and brutality of Tehran.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
DANYA KUKAFKA is a graduate of New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She currently works as an assistant editor at Riverhead books. Girl in Snow is her first novel.
GABRIEL TALLENT was born in New Mexico and raised on the Mendocino coast by two mothers. He received his B.A. from Willamette University in 2010, and after graduation spent two seasons leading youth trail crews in the backcountry of the Pacific Northwest. Tallent lives in Salt Lake City.
DONIA BIJAN graduated from UC Berkeley and Le Cordon Bleu. After presiding over many of San Francisco's acclaimed restaurants and earning awards for her French-inspired cuisine, in 1994 she opened her own restaurant, L'amie Donia, in Palo Alto. She now divides her days between raising her son, teaching, and writing.