TICKETED OFFSITE EVENT: Bookshop Santa Cruz welcomes Celeste Ng, number one bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere, for an event celebrating her new book, Our Missing Hearts—a deeply suspenseful and heartrending novel about the unbreakable love between a mother and child in a society consumed by fear. Ng will be in-conversation with local writer Ellen Bass.
JUST ANNOUNCED: Our Missing Hearts is Reese's Book Club's October 2022 book club pick!
"Ng’s cautionary tale transports us into an American tomorrow that is all too easy to imagine—and persuasively posits that the antidotes to fear and suspicion are empathy and love. Underscores that the stories we tell about our lives and those of others can change hearts, minds, and history.” —Kirkus
STARRED REVIEWS: Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist
Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in a university library. Bird knows to not ask too many questions, stand out too much, or stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve "American culture" in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic--including the work of Bird's mother, Margaret, a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was nine years old.
Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn't know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn't wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is pulled into a quest to find her. His journey will take him back to the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York City, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.
Our Missing Hearts is an old story made new, of the ways supposedly civilized communities can ignore the most searing injustice. It's a story about the power--and limitations--of art to create change, the lessons and legacies we pass on to our children, and how any of us can survive a broken world with our hearts intact.
Celeste Ng is the number one New York Times bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere. Her third novel, Our Missing Hearts, will be published in October 2022. Ng is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, and her work has been published in over thirty languages.
Ellen Bass’s most recent collection, Indigo, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2020. Her other poetry books include Like a Beggar, The Human Line, and Mules of Love. Her poems appear frequently in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and many other journals. Among her awards are Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, The NEA, and The California Arts Council, The Lambda Literary Award, and three Pushcart Prizes. A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Bass founded poetry workshops at Salinas Valley State Prison and the Santa Cruz, California jails, and teaches in the MFA writing program at Pacific University.
CAN'T MAKE THE EVENT? Order your signed copy of Our Missing Hearts below: