VIRTUAL PROGRAM: Author Talk: Vanessa Veselka: The Great Offshore Grounds

Friday, September 257:00—8:00 PMVirtual Programming - Register to receive participation information(Offsite Location) , Lowell, MA, 01854

**PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A VIRTUAL PROGRAM THAT WILL TAKE PLACE VIA ZOOM. Registrants will receive an email with Zoom meeting information the week of the event.**

This event is a part of a national virtual book tour the author is taking to retrace the routes of pivotal road trips in the novel. One of which cuts right through Lowell, Massachusetts. 

From the Publisher:

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. 

PRAISE

“Deeply moving . . . [Veselka] is a remarkable writer, able to break through the surfaces of her narrative to reveal the animal chaos underneath . . . In its way, that merciless truth of the universe represents a sort of mercy, and it makes The Great Offshore Grounds a saga of acceptance, which is to say a book of life.”
David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times 

"Animating . . . Kirsten, Livy, Cheyenne, and Essex’s subsequent misadventures are compelling in and of themselves, irrespective of whether they serve to highlight the rapacity of unchecked neoliberalism or the growing hole in America’s social safety net. Rather than subordinate her protagonists’ experiences to a larger narrative, Veselka patiently waits for a chance to make a connection between one and the other . . . In Veselka’s telling, however, the story is in fact about [vulnerable Americans] — and, with the necessary adjustments, countless other underprivileged men and women caught up in a system that has little use for their kind.” —Rayyan Al-Shawaf, The Boston Globe 

“A magnificent beast of a novel. Utterly engrossing. Original. One of the rare novels that understands the realities of American poverty. Epic.” —Roxane Gay via Goodreads 

“Astonishing depth and scope . . . Veselka blends fascinating details of seamanship, cab driving, and boot camp with intimate, spot-on descriptions of contemporary American poverty . . . This gritty and unsentimental work is compassionate, funny, and deeply human.”Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Energetic . . . points of view shift kaleidoscopically, passages of history and politics are woven into the questlike narratives of the characters. The result is a fiery and occasionally luminous chaos that feels true to the experience of those for whom each day is lived at the edges of mainstream society.” —Kirkus

"The Great Offshore Grounds is a binge-worthy, kaleidoscopic, twenty-first century American family odyssey. Vanessa Veselka spins a radical, delicious, epic tale of women blasting their way forward to free themselves of the past. Her characters play by no rules but their own and they pull you in with oceans of black humor and so much heart." 

—Andrea Kleine, author of Eden

"The Great Offshore Grounds reminded me of what a great novel can do—Veselka's seafaring epic has the forward momentum of a grand adventure and the spiraling depth of a new myth. All the pleasure of eighteenth century storytelling renewed for our newborn millennium. I love this textured, tonally complex wonder of a book, a quest for Melville's 'unimaginable sublimity' that never shies away from the messy flux of the body, or the oceanic scope of our shared global history. It's also a blast to read—darkly hilarious, astral, cerebral, suspenseful, warm-blooded, divine." —Karen Russell, author of Orange World

"The Great Offshore Grounds blew me away. The tangled journeys of three siblings in the hardest of times pursuing freedom and love through a broken world will both move and dazzle readers. Wry, epic, glorious." —Emma Donoghue, author of Akin

"I immediately fell in love with the phenomenal sisters at the heart of Vanessa Veselka's supernova of a new novel, The Great Offshore Grounds. This novel is thrilling in its content, daring in heart, and makes a helix between a novel of ideas and the best damn story of women who forge their identities on their own terms that I've read in years."
—Lidia Yuknavitch, author of Verge

"The Great Offshore Grounds delivers on the promise Vanessa Veselka made with her excellent debut, Zazen. Large in scope and heart, Veselka skillfully illustrates human behaviors of every shade and iteration. She’s a specialist, a keen interpreter of our demented society, and an enviable storyteller. I’ve been waiting long years for this novel. It was worth the wait." —Patrick deWitt, author of French Exit 

"Vanessa Veselka is an expert portraitist of the forgotten and left behind, people struggling to make ends meet, broke and underemployed, people of deep humanity and shallow finances trying to find their place in dysfunctional America. The Great Offshore Grounds is an unforgettable journey through a country full of malice and greed and beauty and grace. A brilliant and fearless book." —Nathan Hill, author of The Nix

About the Author

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.

Capacity: 295 of 299 spaces available.

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