Events, a Magical Giveaway, Octopus Ancestors, the Finished Book, and More
Ancestor Trouble is coming out at the end of this month, eep! My editor, Andrea, sent along some photos of the finished book, which is still making its way to me. I hadn’t known that the binding would be this fabulous turquoise color (below), which reminds me of old Twain and Dickens books I checked out of the library as a kid.
In this newsletter: events and other book news, some recent writing and items of interest, and a very special giveaway of art by Susan Maddux (at the top of this newsletter) that speaks to my heart, in appreciation for the eye she made that sat above my desk (below) over the years I worked on Ancestor Trouble. I purchased the giveaway piece from her website and spent far more on it than I’m usually able to for giveaways. I hope it will be as inspiring and mysteriously clarifying for the winner as the eye has felt for me. Scroll down for giveaway details and more about Susan.
Book Events and News
Ancestor Trouble is anticipated by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, the Millions, the Chicago Review of Books, Apartment Therapy, and me. Esquire has named it one of the best books of the year so far.
And I have a book tour schedule! It’s indescribably wonderful for so many favorite venues and writers and thinkers to be supporting me and Ancestor Trouble in this way. My publisher is putting together a pretty graphic that isn’t ready yet, but meanwhile here are the details (below) and my own erratic collage (above).
March 29: Book Launch, Conversation with Maaza Mengiste (In Person and Streaming), Books Are Magic at St. Ann's Church, Brooklyn. 7 PM EDT. Sign up at ancestortrouble.eventbrite.com. Tickets $10-28.99.
April 1: Memoir and Memory, Conversation with Liz Scheier (In Person, Outdoors), Square Books at Oxford Conference for the Book, Oxford, Mississippi. The Old Armory Pavilion. 10:30 AM CDT. Details here. Free.
April 4: Conversation with Casey Cep (Virtual), American Ancestors by New England Historic Genealogical Society, in Partnership with Porter Square Books. 6-7 PM EDT. Details here; register here. Free.
Also, this Friday, March 11, I'm participating in a virtual pre-publication conversation with Rabbi Tamar Manasseh, "Ancestor Trouble: A Religious and Political Dialogue," organized by Dr. Seth L. Sanders for UC Davis Jewish Studies and Religious Studies. 12 PM PDT. Register here.
Written, Enjoyed, or of Interest
I wrote a piece for Harper’s Bazaar about how I never wanted to get married until, very suddenly, several years into our relationship, I wanted to marry Max: “Marriage Skepticism: A Love Story.”
Corporations are people, according to our courts; is an elephant a person?
New thinking on the transition from hunter-gatherer societies to agricultural/farm-based ones.
“Did the First Americans Arrive via Land Bridge? This Geneticist Says No.”
Books I’ve read, am reading, or intend to read soon, and that I hope to say more about at some future point: South to America, Entangled Life, Lost & Found, In Sensorium, What My Bones Know, Biography of Niki de Saint Phalle.
Siblings understand more about their childhood after finding, through DNA testing, six brothers and sisters adopted by Jewish families after their mother gave them up during their childhood.
Susan Maddux was born on the island of Oahu in Hawaii to a hapa Japanese-American family. Growing up, she “absorbed the influence of Japanese folk art traditions and Buddhist temples as well as the arts of Polynesia.”
She’s based in Los Angeles now but I met her when she was living in New York and even interviewed her for my website once back in 2008. At her farewell gathering, there was a basket of scrap artwork that she was giving away. The remnants were going to be put out by the curb if we didn’t take them, and the eye was one of a few gorgeous things that came home with me that day.
I love following her process on Instagram. Her latest works, colorful and increasingly elaborate pleated wall hangings, have an intensely shamanic quality to me. My metric for these giveaways has been that I would like to keep whatever I’m offering for myself, and that’s never more true than it is with “Sweet Pleat” (below), the piece I’m giving away. I want to say so much more but I think her work speaks for itself.
To enter, preorder Ancestor Trouble or request it from your local library (here are some tips on asking a library to order a book if it’s not in the catalog). If you’d like a signed or personalized copy, order at Greenlight Bookstore and include the details of your request in your order comments at checkout. Send the receipt of purchase or library request in reply to this newsletter or as a DM to me at Twitter or Instagram.
Entries must be received by Saturday March 12, at 11:59 PM (Pacific). U.S. residents only (sorry!) and no previous winners, please. All preorders or requests, before or after this newsletter, count. The winner will be notified by email or DM.
Keeping this one short because I am honestly, in the words of my Texan ancestors, plum tuckered out.
All good wishes until next time,