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February 8 @ 7:00 pm
The Rain Heron: An Evening with Robbie Arnott and Jeff VanderMeer
Books & Books and Miami Book Fair present…
An Evening with Robbie Arnott
In conversation with Jeff VanderMeer
Monday, February 8, 7pm
LIVE via Crowdcast
A gripping novel of myth, environment, adventure, and an unlikely friendship, from an award-winning Australian author
Ren lives alone on the remote frontier of a country devastated by a coup d’état. High on the forested slopes, she survives by hunting, farming, trading, and forgetting the contours of what was once a normal life. But her quiet stability is disrupted when an army unit, led by a young female soldier, comes to the mountains on government orders in search of a legendary creature called the rain heron―a mythical, dangerous, form-shifting bird with the ability to change the weather. Ren insists that the bird is simply a story, yet the soldier will not be deterred, forcing them both into a gruelling quest.
Spellbinding and immersive, Robbie Arnott’s The Rain Heron is an astounding, mythical exploration of human resilience, female friendship, and humankind’s precarious relationship to nature. As Ren and the soldier hunt for the heron, a bond between them forms, and the painful details of Ren’s former life emerge―a life punctuated by loss, trauma, and a second, equally magical and dangerous creature. Slowly, Ren’s and the soldier’s lives entwine, unravel, and ultimately erupt in a masterfully crafted ending in which both women are forced to confront their biggest fears―and regrets.
Robbie Arnott, one of Australia’s most acclaimed young novelists, sews magic into reality with a steady, confident hand. Bubbling with rare imagination and ambition, The Rain Heron is an emotionally charged and dazzling novel, one that asks timely yet eternal questions about environment, friendship, nationality, and the myths that bind us.
About the Author:
Robbie Arnott is the author of the novel Flames, which won the Margaret Scott Prize, was short-listed for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Prize for Fiction, the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize, and the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, and was long-listed for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. In 2019, he was named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist. He lives in Tasmania.
About the Conversant:
Jeff VanderMeer is the author of Dead Astronauts, Borne, and The Southern Reach Trilogy, the first volume of which, Annihilation, won the Nebula Award and the Shirley Jackson Award and was adapted into a movie by Alex Garland. VanderMeer speaks and writes frequently about issues relating to climate change. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, Ann VanderMeer, and their cats, plants, and bird feeders. His new novel Hummingbird Salamander is forthcoming this April.