Credit: Jay Blakesberg
Credit: Elena Seibert
LAUNCH: Jan Ellison in conversation with Ann Packer
Tuesday, January 27, 7:30 p.m.
With a stunning combination of tension - "The scarf I was wearing had been hand-colored a blunt red. It was tied around my neck like a choker, like a noose. But it wasn't me who was about to hang" - and eloquence - "It was a photograph innocent enough to anyone unacquainted with its history, its treacherous biological imperatives, its call for reparations left unpaid," Ellison has written a riveting debut novel that fixes an unflinching eye on the power of desire and the danger of obsession. What happens when our youthful mistakes come back to haunt us? When our indiscretions come to light and violently interfere with the success of our established careers and our families?
At nineteen, Annie Black trades a bleak future in her washed-out hometown for a London winter of drinking and abandon. Decades later, living in San Francisco with a family and a career, she receives a photograph in the mail, setting off a chain of events that threaten to overturn her family's hard-won happiness. Annie returns to London seeking answers, but she must first piece together the mystery of her past. This debut novel is sure to have you reading through the night, reminding you of your own intense youthful desires and secrets.
Jan Ellison is a graduate of Stanford and San Francisco State’s MFA Program. She has published award-winning short fiction and was the recipient of a 2007 O. Henry Prize for her first story to appear in print. Her work has also been shortlisted for Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize.
Ann Packer is the author of two national bestsellers, the novels Songs Without Words and The Dive from Clausen’s Pier, which won a Great Lakes Book Award, an American Library Association Award and the Kate Chopin Literary Award. Her first book, Mendocino and Other Stories, included stories published in The New Yorker and featured in the annual O. Henry Awards prize stories anthology, and her essays have appeared in Vogue, Real Simple, and the Washington Post. Her most recent book is Swim Back to Me, a novella and five short stories.
Happy New Year 2019!