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January 16, 2020 @ 8:00 pm
Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne
Lucy Kilgore has her bags packed for her escape from her rural Tennessee upbringing, but a drunken mistake forever tethers her to the town and one of its least-admired residents, Jeptha Taylor, who becomes the father of her child. Together, these two young people work to form a family, though neither has any idea how to accomplish that, and the odds are against them in a place with little to offer other than bluegrass music, tobacco fields, and a Walmart full of beer and firearms for the hunting season. Their path is harrowing, but Lucy and Jeptha are characters to love, and readers will root for their success in a novel so riveting that no one will want to turn out the light until they know whether this family will survive.
In luminous prose, debut novelist Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne brings us a present-day Appalachian story in the tradition of Lee Smith, Silas House, and Ron Rash, cast without sentiment or cliché, but with a genuine and profound understanding of the place and its people.
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About the Author:
Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne grew up reading, writing, and shooting in East Tennessee, with two brothers and one sister, and a wide assortment of animals who ran away often. After graduating from Amherst College, she worked as an editor at The Atlantic Monthly, fact-checking stories on topics such as rocket science, the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and autism. After The Atlantic, she worked as a journalist, writing stories about public health, patient-led disease research organizations, drug-resistant tuberculosis in South Africa, and U.S. efforts at HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention in Uganda and Kenya. Her journalism has appeared in The Atlantic, Boston Globe, Boston Magazine and Globalpost, among others. Her essay, “Killing In The Name Of…,” about how deer hunting made her a feminist, was published in Click!: When We Knew We Were Feminists, edited by J. Courtney Sullivan and Courtney E. Martin. She is a graduate of Grub Street’s MFA-level Novel Incubator program, under Michelle Hoover and Lisa Borders, where Holding On To Nothing was workshopped. Her short fiction has appeared on the Highly Commended List for the Manchester Fiction Prize and was a finalist for the Rash Award at the Broad River Review, where her story, “Any Other Kind” appears in the spring 2019 issue. She lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband and four kids aged eight and under, any one of whom will be the death of her, depending on the day.