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Powell's Books Presents Vanessa Veselka in Conversation With Kristen Arnett
On the day of their estranged father’s wedding, half-sisters Cheyenne and Livy set off to claim their inheritance. It’s been years since the two have seen each other. Cheyenne is newly back in Seattle, crashing with Livy after a failed marriage and a series of dead ends. Livy works refinishing boats, her resentment against her freeloading sister growing as she tamps down dreams of fishing off the coast of Alaska. But the promise of a shot at financial security brings the two together to claim what’s theirs. Except, instead of money, what their father gives them is information — a name — which both reveals a stunning family secret and compels them to come to grips with it. In the face of their new reality, the sisters and their adopted brother each set out on journeys that will test their faith in one another, as well as their definitions of freedom. THE GREAT OFFSHORE GROUNDS (Knopf) is a wildly original, cross-country novel that subverts a long tradition of family narratives and casts new light on the mythologies — national, individual, and collective — that drive and define us. In her new novel, Vanessa Veselka, author of Zazen, spins a tale with boundless verve, linguistic vitality, and undeniable tenderness. Veselka will be joined in conversation by Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things.

Aug 26, 2020 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Vanessa Veselka
Vanessa Veselka is the author of the novel Zazen, which won the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. Her short stories have appeared in Tin House and ZYZZYVA, and her nonfiction in GQ, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, The Atavist, and was included in Best American Essays and the anthology Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism. She has been, at various times, a teenage runaway, a sex worker, a union organizer, an independent record label owner, a train hopper, a waitress, and a mother. She lives in Portland, OR.
Kristen Arnett
Kristen Arnett is the NYT bestselling author of the debut novel Mostly Dead Things (Tin House, 2019) which was listed as one of The New York Times top books of 2019 and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in fiction. She is a queer fiction and essay writer. She was awarded Ninth Letter's Literary Award in Fiction and is a columnist for Literary Hub. Her work has appeared at The New York Times, North American Review, The Normal School, Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, Guernica, Buzzfeed, Electric Literature, McSweeneys, PBS Newshour, Bennington Review, The Guardian, Salon, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her story collection, Felt in the Jaw, was published by Split Lip Press and was awarded the 2017 Coil Book Award. She was a Spring 2020 Shearing Fellow at Black Mountain Institute. Her next two books (Samson: A Novel and With Foxes: Stories) will be published by Riverhead Books.