Thursday, July 18, 7:00pm Magers And Quinn Booksellers (map)
Kate McQuade and Lila Savage in Conversation
Authors Kate McQuade and Lila Savage will discuss their work, including McQuade's short story collection Tell Me Who We Were and Savage's novel Say Say Say.
About Tell Me Who We Were: Infused with the keen insight of Joyce Carol Oates and haunting power of Kelly Link, a radiant collection of linked stories that explore the vulnerability, resilience, and hidden desires of women, following six girls over the course of sixty years, from their first semester at boarding school to the twilight of their lives.
It begins with a drowning. One day Mr. Arcilla, the romance language teacher at Briarfield, an all-girls boarding school, is found dead at the bottom of Reed Pond. Young and handsome, the object of much fantasy and fascination, he was adored by his students. For Lilith and Romy, Evie and Claire, Nellie and Grace, he was their first love, and their first true loss.
In this extraordinary collection, Kate McQuade explores the ripple effect of one transformative moment on six lives, witnessed at a different point in each girl’s future. Throughout these stories, these bright, imaginative, and ambitious girls mature into women, lose touch and call in favors, achieve success and endure betrayal, marry and divorce, have children and struggle with infertility, abandon husbands and remain loyal to the end.
Lyrical, intimate, and incisive, Tell Me Who We Were explores the inner worlds of girls and women, the relationships we cherish and betray, and the transformations we undergo in the simple act of living.
About Say Say Say: A beautiful, bracingly honest debut novel about the triangle formed between a young woman and the couple whose life she enters one transformative year: a story about love and compassion, the fluidity of desire, and the myriad ways of devotion.
Ella is nearing thirty, and not yet living the life she imagined. Her artistic ambitions as a student in Minnesota have given way to an unintended career in caregiving. One spring, Bryn--a retired carpenter--hires her to help him care for Jill, his wife of many years. A car accident caused a brain injury that has left Jill verbally diminished; she moves about the house like a ghost of her former self, often able to utter, like an incantation, only the words that comprise this novel's title.
As Ella is drawn ever deeper into the couple's household, her presence unwanted but wholly necessary, she is profoundly moved by the tenderness Bryn shows toward the wife he still fiercely loves. Ella is startled by the yearning this awakens in her, one that complicates her feelings for her girlfriend, Alix, and causes her to look at relationships of all kinds--between partners, between employer and employee, and above all between men and women--in new ways.
Tightly woven, humane and insightful, tracing unflinchingly the most intimate reaches of a young woman's heart and mind, Say Say Say is a riveting story about what it means to love, in a world where time is always running out.
Kate McQuade lives in Andover, Massachusetts. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Black Warrior Review, Harvard Review, Baltimore Review, and Verse Daily, among other journals. She has received awards and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Ucross Foundation, and Yaddo, and teaches at Phillips Academy, Andover.
Lila Savage is originally from Minneapolis. Prior to writing fiction, she spent nearly a decade working as a caregiver. Her work has appeared in The Threepenny Review. She is the recipient of a Wallace Stegner fellowship and graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2018. She lives in San Francisco.