Kaitlin Solimine (Empire of Glass) and Warren Read (Ash Falls)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
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Booksmith is doubly excited to host a joint reading by Kaitlin Solimine and Warren Read to celebrate their new books, Empire of Glass and Ash Falls. Don't miss this!

 

Empire of Glass

 

In the mid-1990s, an American teenager, named Lao K in Chinese, stands on Coal Hill, a park in Beijing, a loop of rope in her hand. Will she assist her Chinese homestay mother, Li-Ming, who is dying of cancer, in ending her life, or will she choose another path? Twenty years later, Lao K receives a book written by Li-Ming called “Empire of Glass,” a narrative that chronicles the lives of Li-Ming and her husband, Wang, in pre and post-revolutionary China over the last half of the twentieth century. Lao K begins translating the story, which becomes the novel we are reading. But, as translator, how can Lao K separate fact from fiction, and what will her role be in the book’s final chapter?

 

A grand, experimental epic—Lao K’s story is told in footnotes that run throughout the book—that chronicles the seismic changes in China over the last half century through the lens of one family’s experiences, Empire of Glass is an investigation into the workings of human memory and the veracity of oral history that pushes the boundaries of language and form in stunning and unforgettable ways.

 

Ash Falls

 

A routine prisoner transfer on a rural highway ends with the bus upside-down in a ravine, the driver dead of a heart attack, and convicted murderer Ernie Luntz on the loose, his eyes fixed on the mountain range in the distance, over which lies his hometown of Ash Falls.

 

Set in a moss-draped, Pacific Northwest mountain town, Ash Falls is the story of a closely connected community both held together and torn apart by one man’s single act of horrific violence. As the residents of Ash Falls—which include Ernie’s ex-wife and teenage son—wait on edge, wondering if and when Ernie Luntz will reappear, they come to discover that they are held prisoner not by the killer in the woods outside their town, but by the chains of their own creation.

 

A tension-filled, multi-character exploration of collapsed relationships, carefully guarded secrets and the psychological strain of living in a place that is at once both idyllic and crippling, Ash Falls is a picturesque and haunting novel that belongs beside the work of such classic contemporary American writers as Kent Haruf, Leif Enger, Smith Henderson and Ron Carlson.

 

 


 

Kaitlin Solimine has been a Fulbright Fellow in China, and has received several scholarships, awards, and residencies for her writing, including the 2012 Dzanc Books/Disquiet International Literary Program award for an earlier draft of Empire of Glass, judged by Colson Whitehead. Her fiction has been published in Guernica, the Kartika Review, and numerous anthologies. Kaitlin is co-founder of HIPPO Reads, a network connecting academic insights and scholars to the wider public. She resides in San Francisco with her husband and daughter, where she is a 2016 SF Grotto Writing Fellow.

 

Warren Read is the author of a 2008 memoir The Lyncher in Me (Borealis Books), about his discovery that his great-grandfather had incited a lynching in 1920. His fiction has been published in Hot Metal Bridge, Mud Season Review, Sliver of Stone, Inklette, Switchback and The Drowning Gull. In addition, he has had two short plays directed and produced by Tony winner Dinah Manoff. Warren earned his MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.

 


 

RSVP appreciated but not required. If you cannot attend the event, but would like to request a signed copy of Empire of Glass and/or Ash Falls, or any of the authors' books, please order below and put your request in the comments field. 
 

Books: 
Empire of Glass Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781632460554
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ig Publishing - June 20th, 2017

Ash Falls Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781632460479
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ig Publishing - June 20th, 2017

The Lyncher in Me: A Search for Redemption in the Face of History Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780873516075
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Borealis Books - March 2008