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OFFSITE & TICKETED: Jodi Picoult, A Spark of Light

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 7:00pm

ONLINE ticket sales for this event have ended. Tickets will be sold at the venue this evening, beginning at 6:00. Thank you!


Bookshop Santa Cruz welcomes #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult for an in conversation event with acclaimed novelist Jane Smiley about Picoult's new book, A Spark of Light, a powerful and provocative novel about ordinary lives that intersect during a heart-stopping crisis.

Jodi Picoult—one of the most fearless writers of our time—tackles a complicated issue in this gripping and nuanced novel. How do we balance the rights of pregnant women with the rights of the unborn they carry? What does it mean to be a good parent? A Spark of Light will inspire debate, conversation...and, hopefully, understanding. Tickets for this special offsite event (at Peace United Church, 900 High Street) are on sale below and at Bookshop Santa Cruz. This event is cospsonsored by KAZU.

Ticket packages are $33.00 and include one pre-signed copy of A Spark of Light (which you will receive at the event). A companion ticket (event only, no book included) is available for $5 when purchasing a ticket package. 

Please note: In lieu of personalization, all copies of A Spark of Light will be pre-signed and a professional photographer (arranged by the publisher) will be on-site to capture a personal meet-and-greet. 

The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center—a women's reproductive health services clinic—its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage.

After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.

But Wren is not alone. She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: A nurse who calms her own panic in order save the life of a wounded woman. A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before. A pro-life protester disguised as a patient, who now stands in the cross hairs of the same rage she herself has felt. A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy. And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard.

Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of the standoff, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day.

Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels, including Small Great Things, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister's Keeper. She is also the author, with daughter Samantha van Leer, of two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page. Picoult lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Jane Smiley is a novelist and essayist. Her novel A Thousand Acres won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992, and her novel The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton won the 1999 Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. She has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1987. Her novel Horse Heaven was short-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002, and her latest novel, Private Life, was chosen as one of the best books of 2010 by The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post.

"A courageous and important work." Minneapolis Star Tribune

"This riveting drama is sure to be supremely satisfying."Redbook

"Page-turning . . . a novel that puts its finger on the very pulse of the nation that we live in today."San Francisco Book Review

"A book that needs to be read." The Detroit News

"Picoult has outdone herself."St. Louis Post Dispatch