Tuesday, November 7
EAST BAY BOOKSELLERS welcomes Jessie Chaffee and Geoff Nicholson to the store to discuss and sign their new novels, Florence in Ecstasy and The Miranda, on Tuesday, November 7th, at 7pm. Their conversation will be moderated by Russell Gray.
About Florence in Ecstasy:
A young woman arrives in Florence from Boston, knowing no one and speaking little Italian. But Hannah is isolated in a more profound way, estranged from her own identity after a bout with starvation that has left her life and body in ruins. She is determined to recover in Florence, a city saturated with beauty, vitality, and food―as well as a dangerous history of sainthood for women who starved themselves for God. A vivid, visceral debut echoing the novels of Jean Rhys, Elena Ferrante, and Catherine Lacey, Florence in Ecstasy gives us an arresting new vision of a woman’s attempt to find meaning―and find herself―in an unstable world.
About The Miranda:
Joe’s got a lot to think about, and time on his hands to do it, since divorcing his wife and quitting his job training volunteers for a shadowy government agency. The otherwise nondescript house he’s just moved into boasts one key feature: a circular path in an overgrown backyard, on which Joe plans to walk twenty-five miles a day for a thousand days. Joe figures that walking the circumference of the Earth—safely on his own patch of territory —might just be the thing he needs to move on with his life. But curious neighbors keep sharing their troubles and preoccupations, looping Joe into mundane intrigues, and unwittingly triggering Joe to use the unique problem-solving skills he learned on his old job. With the help of an aspiring bartender, who tests her experimental cocktail recipes as he walks, and philosophical advice from his mailman, Joe stays on pace despite the distractions. But it doesn’t matter how quickly he walks, the past is catching up to Joe, and for the first time, he must prepare himself (and not others) for the worst. A brilliant novel by a master storyteller, The Miranda is at turns a biting satire about the secrets we keep from our neighbors, and about the invisible and unceasing state of war in which most Westerners unconsciously live.
Jessie Chaffee is the author of the debut novel Florence in Ecstasy (Unnamed Press, 2017). She was awarded a Fulbright grant to Italy to complete the novel and was the writer-in-residence at Florence University of the Arts. Her writing has been published in Literary Hub, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Slice, and Global City Review, among others. She lives in New York City, where she is an editor at Words Without Borders, an online magazine of international literature. Find her at www.JessieChaffee.com.
Geoff Nicholson is the acclaimed author of The City Under the Skin, Bleeding London, Bedlam Burning, and the cult classic Footsucker, among many others. His journalism has appeared in many periodicals as varied as GQ, The New York Times, Bookforum, Art Review, the London Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, and McSweeney’s. The Miranda is his most recent novel.
Russell Gray is a graduate of San Diego State University with a degree in English. A lifetime book lover, he discusses books at both his blog, inkandpaperblog.com, and on his YouTube channel of the same name. Currently, he lives is the San Jose with his husband and their three dogs and two cats.