We're pleased to welcome Jessica Barksdale Inclán to our At Home with Literati Series in support of What the Moon Did. She will be joined in conversation by Darien Hsu Gee.
Click here to join the webinar event on 2/27 at 7pm ET. No pre-registration is required.
Note: we are now hosting on Zoom webinars. You will be prompted to enter a first name and email upon joining. You may then see a window reading "waiting for host to start webinar," but sit tight--you will be admitted as soon as we begin broadcasting live! You will be able to submit questions using the Q&A feature.
About the book: No matter how we try to hide our past, truth finds its way to the surface, sometimes in devastating ways.
Mary Jo Johnson has a secret.
In the summer of 1949, twelve-year-old Mary Jo is changed forever. Not understanding why, she suddenly has the attention of one of her parents' friends, Roger Bradfield, who notices things about Mary Jo no one else ever has. In Roger's gaze, she is special, wonderful, perfect.
But for a twelve-year-old girl, "consent" is a foreign concept, especially when it comes to a much older and more powerful man. When Mary Jo becomes pregnant, her parents protect Roger, not to mention their status in the town, and-they hope-Mary Jo's future. Mary Jo is sent away to live with her grandmother for a time as they spin a story that will blanket all their lives with a lie.
That summer reaches into the decades as Mary Jo moves forward into her own life. Mary Jo gets married, has more children, and obtains the country club membership, nice house, and upper-middle-class trappings promised by her upbringing. But the lie never goes away, affecting not only her but generations to come. At the end, will the truth come out, or will Mary Jo take her trauma to the grave?
Told in alternating points-of view, What the Moon Did reveals the wounds that never heal and the effects on Mary Jo, her parents, her siblings, and her children, as well as the others who were shattered by the events of those hot summer months.
Jessica Barksdale Inclán is the author of the poetry collection, Grim Honey, and the novel The Play’s the Thing, both published in 2021. Her other work includes the novels Her Daughter’s Eyes, The Burning Hour, and When You Believe. She teaches novel writing online for UCLA Extension and in the online MFA program for Southern New Hampshire University. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband.
Darien Hsu Gee is an award-winning author of five novels, the author of Nonwhite and Woman: 131 Micro Essays on Being in the World (Woodhall Press, September 6, 2022) co-authored with Carla Crujido, and winner of the 2019 Poetry Society of America's Chapbook Fellowship.