BINDERY: Kathleen Alcott with Oscar Villalon / America Was Hard to Find

Thursday, May 30, 2019 - 7:30pm
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The Bindery hosts Kathleen Alcott for her new novel, America Was Hard to Find. With her in conversation is Zyzzyva's managing editor Oscar Villalon. Please join us!

Ecuador, 1969: An American expatriate, Fay Fern, sits in the corner of a restaurant, she and her young son Wright turned away from the television where Vincent Kahn becomes the first man to walk on the moon.

Years earlier, Fay and Vincent meet at a pilots’ bar in the Mojave Desert. Both seemed poised for reinvention—the married test pilot, Vincent, as an astronaut; the spurned child of privilege, Fay, as an activist. Their casual affair ends quickly, but its consequences linger.

Though their lives split, their senses of purpose deepen in tandem, each becoming heroes to different sides of the political spectrum of the 1960s and 70s: Vincent an icon with no plan beyond the mission for which he has single-mindedly trained, Fay a leader of a violent leftist group whose anti-Vietnam actions make her one of the FBI’s most wanted. With her last public appearance, a demonstration that frames the Apollo program as a vehicle for distracting the American public from its country’s atrocities, Fay leaves Wright to contend with her legacy, his own growing apathy, and the misdeeds of both his mother and his country.

An immense, vivid reimagining of the Cold War era, America Was Hard to Find traces the fallout of the cultural revolution that divided the country and explores the meaning of individual lives in times of upheaval. It also confirms Kathleen Alcott’s reputation as a fearless and vital voice in fiction.


Born in 1988 in Northern California, Kathleen Alcott is the author of the novels Infinite Home and The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets. Her short stories and nonfiction have appeared in Zoetrope: All StoryZYZZYVAThe GuardianTin HouseThe New York Times Magazine, the Bennington Review, and elsewhere. In 2017, she was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award; her short fiction has been translated into Korean and Dutch. She divides her time between New York City, where she teaches fiction at Columbia University, and Vermont, where she serves as a 2018-2019 visiting professor at Bennington College. 

Oscar Villalon is the managing editor of Zyzzyva. His writing has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, The Daily Beast, The Rumpus, and forthcoming in Freeman's

 


Please note: this event will be held at The Bindery, 1727 Haight. 

This is an all ages event with mature themes. The bar opens at 7pm; event starts at 7:30pm.

As with all of our events, seating may be limited; you can guarantee a seat by pre-purchasing the book below -- when checking out, just be sure to include a note that you'd like to attend the event. If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of America Was Hard to Find, and/or any of Kathleen's books, order here and be sure to put your request in the comments field. 

RSVP appreciated but not required

 

Books: 
America Was Hard to Find: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062662521
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - May 14th, 2019