The Bindery hosts a special afternoon of readings from new books by Katya Apekina (The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish), Bryan Hurt (Everyone Wants to be Ambassador to France), and Lisa Locascio (Open Me). Please join us!
The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish
by Katya Apekina
It's sixteen year-old Edie who finds their mother Marianne dangling in the living room from an old jump rope, puddle of urine on the floor, barely alive. Upstairs, fourteen year-old Mae had fallen into one of her trances, often a result of feeling too closely attuned to her mother's dark moods. After Marianne is unwillingly admitted to a mental hospital, Edie and Mae are forced to move from their childhood home in Louisiana to New York to live with their estranged father, Dennis, a former civil rights activist and literary figure on the other side of success. The girls, grieving and homesick, are at first wary of their father's affection, but soon Mae and Edie's close relationship begins to fall apart--Edie remains fiercely loyal to Marianne, convinced that Dennis is responsible for her mother's downfall, while Mae, suffocated by her striking resemblances to her mother, feels pulled toward their father. The girls move in increasingly opposing and destructive directions as they struggle to cope with outsized pain, and as the history of Dennis and Marianne's romantic past clicks into focus, the family fractures further.
Moving through a selection of first-person accounts and written with a sinister sense of humor, The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish powerfully captures the quiet torment of two sisters craving the attention of a parent they can't, and shouldn't, have to themselves. In this captivating debut, Katya Apekina disquietingly crooks the lines between fact and fantasy, between escape and freedom, and between love and obsession.
“The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish is an engrossing debut -- Apekina’s brilliant story of a family in crisis is a remarkable feat of empathy and insight, guided by unpredictable, propulsive storytelling. I was increasingly and helplessly hooked. I can’t believe this remarkable tour de force is a first novel.” – J. Ryan Stradal, author of the New York Times Bestseller Kitchens of the Great Midwest
Katya Apekina has had stories published in The Iowa Review, Santa Monica Review, West Branch, Joyland, PANK and elsewhere, and has appeared on the Notable List of Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013. She translated poetry and prose for Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and about Mayakovsky, which was short-listed for the Best Translated Book Award. She co-wrote the screenplay for the feature film New Orleans, Mon Amour, which premiered at SXSW in 2008. Born in Moscow, she currently lives in Los Angeles. Poets & Writers recently named Katya a writer to watch and The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish a big fiction debut for the Fall.
Everyone Wants to be Ambassador to France
by Bryan Hurt
A seagull, a goat, and a teenage boy enter into a bizarre love triangle that leaves one of them dead and the other two changed forever. A grief-stricken astronaut quits NASA to paint pictures of the moon. A lonely scientist creates stars in his basement and becomes enraged when he discovers that one of his stars harbors life. An eighteenth-century British aristocrat adopts two teenage girls and absconds with them to France, determined to raise one of them to become his perfect wife. By turns humorous and heartbreaking, this debut collection offers weird and wonderful stories that illuminate the hidden truths of life.
“Bryan Hurt’s stories are like no one else’s. They are by turns hilarious, whimsical, arresting, and heartbreaking, but what makes them such a delight is the sly simplicity and off-handed charm of their telling.” – T.C. Boyle
Bryan Hurt is the author of Everyone Wants to be Ambassador to France, selected by Alissa Nutting as the winner of the 10th Annual Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction. He is the editor of Watchlist: 32 Sstories by Persons of Interest and Midwest editor for Joyland Magazine. His short stories and essays have been published in The American Reader, Guernica, Kenyon Review Online, Los Angeles Review of Books, Tin House, TriQuarterly, and many others. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and named finalist for the Calvino Prize and Horatio Nelson Prize in Fiction. He's received fellowships from the Sewanee and Tin House Writers' Conferences. Bryan holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the university of Southern California. He lives in Columbus, Ohio and is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Capital University.
by Lisa Locascio
A political and erotically-charged debut that follows a young American woman’s transformative journey during one pivotal summer abroad hailed by Viet Thanh Nguyen as “unflinching in its portrayal of sex, desire, racism, and the excitement and confusion of youth.”
Roxana Olsen has always dreamed of going to Paris, and after high school graduation finally plans to travel there on a study abroad program -- a welcome reprieve from the bruising fallout of her parents’ divorce. But a logistical mix-up brings Roxana to Copenhagen instead, where she’s picked up at the airport by Søren, a twenty-eight year old guide who is meant to be her steward. Instantly drawn to one another, Roxana and Søren’s relationship turns romantic, and when he asks Roxana to accompany him to a small town in the north of Denmark for the rest of the summer, she doesn’t hesitate to accept. There, Roxana’s world narrows and opens as she experiences fantasy, ritual, and the pleasures of her body, a thrilling realm of erotic and domestic bliss. But as their relationship deepens, Søren’s temperament darkens, and Roxana finds herself increasingly drawn to a mysterious local outsider whom she learns is a refugee from the Balkan War.
An erotic coming-of-age like no other, from a magnetic new voice in fiction, Open Me is a daringly original and darkly compelling portrait of a young woman discovering her power, her sex, and her voice; and an incisive examination of xenophobia, migration, and what it means to belong.
"Not since Henry James' Daisy Miller have I been so beguiled by an American abroad. Lisa Locascio's Roxana Olsen may only be eighteen but she is already a desperate sexual adventurer. Part captivity narrative, part political awakening, Open Me will open you, reminding us that nothing really happens until it happens in the body." – Darcey Steinke, author of Suicide Blonde
Lisa Locascio's work has appeared in The Believer, Tin House, n+1, Bookforum, and many other magazines. She is the editor of the anthology Golden State 2017: Best New Writing from California, co-publisher of Joyland and editor of its West section, as well as of the ekphrastic collaboration magazine 7x7LA. She is Executive Director of the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference.
Please note: this event will be at The Bindery at 1727 Haight.
This is an all ages event. The bar opens with the store at 2, event begins at 4pm.
If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish, Everyone Wants to be Ambassador to France, and/or Open Me, order below and put your request in the comments field.