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June 6, 2019 @ 8:00 pm
“One of the strangest and funniest and most surprising first novels I’ve ever read. A love letter to Florida and to family, to half-lit swamps and the 7/11, and to the beasts that only pretend to hold their poses inside us.” – Karen Russell
A Most Anticipated Book of 2019 at Esquire, The Week, BuzzFeed, NYLON, Bustle, HuffPost, The Boston Globe, and more.
One morning, Jessa-Lynn Morton walks into the family taxidermy shop to find that her father has committed suicide, right there on one of the metal tables. Shocked and grieving, Jessa steps up to manage the failing business, while the rest of the Morton family crumbles. Her mother starts sneaking into the shop to make aggressively lewd art with the taxidermied animals. Her brother Milo withdraws, struggling to function. And Brynn, Milo’s wife―and the only person Jessa’s ever been in love with―walks out without a word. As Jessa seeks out less-than-legal ways of generating income, her mother’s art escalates―picture a figure of her dead husband and a stuffed buffalo in an uncomfortably sexual pose―and the Mortons reach a tipping point. For the first time, Jessa has no choice but to learn who these people truly are, and ultimately how she fits alongside them.
Kristen Arnett’s debut novel is a darkly funny, heart-wrenching, and eccentric look at loss and love.
In conversation with Dana De Greff
About the Author:
Kristen Arnett is a queer fiction and essay writer. She won the 2017 Coil Book Award for her debut short fiction collection, Felt in the Jaw, and was awarded Ninth Letter’s 2015 Literary Award in Fiction. She’s a columnist for Literary Hub and her work has either appeared or is upcoming at North American Review, The Normal School, Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, Guernica, Electric Literature, Volume 1 Brooklyn, Bennington Review, Tin House Flash Fridays/The Guardian, Salon, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.
About the Conversant:
Born in Miami, Dana De Greff holds a Masters in Fine Arts in fiction from the University of Miami and is the Founder & Executive Director of PageSlayers, a 2016 Knight Arts Challenge Winner that provides free creative writing summer camps in Opa-Locka, FL. She is the author of Alterations (winner of the 2018 Rane Arroyo Chapbook Series published by Seven Kitchens Press), the 2018 Lillian E. Smith Writer-in-Service Award, and the 2017-2018 Literary Artist-in-Residence at the Deering Estate. She has been accepted or awarded scholarships from Tent: Creative Writing, the Tin House Summer Writers’ Workshop, and The Key West Literary Seminar. Her work appears in PANK, Origins Journal, Philadelphia Stories, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Gulf Stream Magazine, The Boston Review, The Miami Herald, The Miami Rail, and the Miami New Times. She is currently at work on her first novel, The Odyssey Hotel. She is represented by Writers House.