The Book Cellar
(Marisa's headshot by: Bader Howar)
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About The Mysteries: Miggy Brenneman is a wild and reckless seven-year-old with a fierce imagination, hellbent on pushing against the limits of childhood. Ellen is polite, cautious, and drawn to her friend's bright flame. While the adults around them adjust to unstable times and fractured relationships, the girls respond with increasingly dangerous play. When tragedy strikes, all the novel's characters grapple with questions of fate and individual responsibility, none more so than Miggy, who must make sense of a swiftly disappearing past and a radically transformed future.
Written with searing clarity and surpassing tenderness, The Mysteries limns the painful ambiguities of adulthood and the intense perceptions of an indelibly drawn child to offer a profound exploration of how all of us, at every stage, must reckon with life's abundant and unsolvable mysteries.
About Marisa Silver: Marisa Silver is the author of six previous works of fiction, including the novels Mary Coin, a New York Times Bestseller, and Little Nothing, a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and been included in The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Silver has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center. She teaches at the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.
About Sea Wife: Juliet is failing to juggle motherhood and her stalled-out dissertation on confessional poetry when her husband, Michael, informs her that he wants to leave his job and buy a sailboat. With their two kids--Sybil, age seven, and George, age two--Juliet and Michael set off for Panama, where their forty-four foot sailboat awaits them.
The initial result is transformative; the marriage is given a gust of energy, Juliet emerges from her depression, and the children quickly embrace the joys of being at sea. The vast horizons and isolated islands offer Juliet and Michael reprieve - until they are tested by the unforeseen. A transporting novel about marriage, family and love in a time of unprecedented turmoil, Sea Wife is unforgettable in its power and astonishingly perceptive in its portrayal of optimism, disillusionment, and survival.
About Amity Gaige: Amity Gaige is the author of four novels, O My Darling, The Folded World, Schroder, and Sea Wife. Sea Wife was a 2020 New York Times Notable Book and an Elle Best Book of 2020. Her previous novel, Schroder, was named one of Best Books of 2013 by The New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, among others, and was shortlisted for UK’s Rathbones Folio Prize in 2014. Sea Wife and Schroder have been translated into a combined 18 languages. Amity is the winner of a Fulbright Fellowship, fellowships at the MacDowell and Yaddo colonies, and a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship in Fiction. Her short stories, essays, and book reviews have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, The Guardian, Die Welt, Harper’s Bazaar, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. She lives in West Hartford, CT, with her family, and teaches creative writing at Yale.
About Sarah Shun-lien Bynum: Sarah Shun-lien Bynum is the author of two novels—Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and Madeleine Is Sleeping, a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize—and a story collection, Likes, a finalist for the Story Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Tin House, and The Best American Short Stories. The recipient of an O. Henry Award, a Whiting Award, and an NEA Fellowship, she was named one of “20 Under 40” fiction writers by The New Yorker. She lives in Los Angeles.