Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere

Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 7:00pm


Bookshop Santa Cruz is pleased to present award winning author and bestselling (Everything I Never Told You) author Celeste Ng, for a book talk and signing of her new novel Little Fires Everywhere

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned—from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren—an enigmatic artist and single mother—who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter, Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town—and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs. 

Shaker Heights is more than the setting for Little Fires Everywhere—it’s Celeste Ng’s beloved hometown. One of the first planned communities in the U.S., it was founded on utopian principles and still today brims with idealism and good, caring people. And yet, of course, Shaker Heights struggles with the same race and class issues as the rest of the nation. Through the lens of this community and her deeply human cast of characters, the book, under Ng’s unwavering eye, examines the uncomfortable truths we’re all reckoning with—issues of privilege and identity, of the right to motherhood, of ideals versus action. Like Everything I Never Told You, this is a book vital for the times we live in.

Celeste Ng grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio. She attended Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan. Her debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, won the Hopwood Award, the Massachusetts Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and the ALA’s Alex Award. She is a 2016 NEA fellow, and she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“I read Little Fires Everywhere in a single, breathless sitting. With brilliance and beauty, Celeste Ng dissects a microcosm of American society just when we need to see it beneath the microscope: how do questions of race stack up against the comfort of privilege, and what role does that play in parenting? Is motherhood a bond forged by blood, or by love? And perhaps most importantly: do the faults of our past determine what we deserve in the future? Be ready to be wowed by Ng’s writing—and unsettled by the mirror held up to one’s own beliefs.” —Jodi Picoult, NYT bestselling author of Small Great Things and Leaving Time

“Little Fires Everywhere is a dazzlingly protean work—a comedy of manners that doubles as a social novel and reads like a thriller. By turns wry, heart-rending and gimlet-eyed, it confirms Celeste Ng’s genius for gripping literary fiction.” —Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes

“As if it wasn’t totally obvious from her stunning first novel, Little Fires Everywhere showcases what makes Celeste Ng such a masterful writer. The way she examines the complexity of place, and the people who inhabit that place, is some of the most virtuosic, compelling, and wise storytelling that I’ve seen in a long time. By looking so closely at this community, she opens up the entire world, and it’s an amazing experience.” —Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang and Perfect Little World
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Little Fires Everywhere Cover Image
$21.60
ISBN: 9780735224292
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - September 12th, 2017

 

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