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We're pleased to welcome Vanessa Veselka in support of her novel, The Great Offshore Grounds. She'll be in conversation with author Tom Bissel, author of the forthcoming Creative Types.
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About the book: A wildly original, cross-country novel that subverts a long tradition of family narratives and casts new light on the mythologies--national, individual, and collective--that drive and define us.
On the day of their estranged father's wedding, half sisters Cheyenne and Livy set off to claim their inheritance. It's been years since the two have seen each other. Cheyenne is newly back in Seattle, crashing with Livy after a failed marriage and a series of dead ends. Livy works refinishing boats, her resentment against her freeloading sister growing as she tamps down dreams of fishing off the coast of Alaska. But the promise of a shot at financial security brings the two together to claim what's theirs. Except, instead of money, what their father gives them is information--a name--which both reveals a stunning family secret and compels them to come to grips with it. In the face of their new reality, the sisters and their adopted brother each set out on journeys that will test their faith in one another, as well as their definitions of freedom.
Moving from Seattle's underground to the docks of the Far North, from the hideaways of the southern swamps to the storied reaches of the Great Offshore Grounds, Vanessa Veselka spins a tale with boundless verve, linguistic vitality, and undeniable tenderness.
Vanessa Veselka is the author of the novel Zazen, which won the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. Her short stories have appeared in Tin House and ZYZZYVA, and her nonfiction in GQ, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, The Atavist, and was included in Best American Essays and the anthology Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism. She has been, at various times, a teenage runaway, a sex worker, a union organizer, an independent record label owner, a train hopper, a waitress, and a mother. She lives in Portland, OR.
Tom Bissell was born in Escanaba, Michigan, in 1974. His short fiction has won two Pushcart Prizes and has been published in multiple editions of The Best American Series. He has also written eight works of nonfiction, including Apostle and (with Greg Sestero) The Disaster Artist, as well as many screenplays for video games and television. Bissell lives in Los Angeles with his family.