We can't think of a year in which Seattle has been so in evidence in fiction as it has this year, with novels ranging from Ryan Boudinot's darkly humorous, dystopian Blueprints of the Afterlife to Jim Lynch's Seattle World's Fair-set Truth Like the Sun, with others along the way. None serves up present-day Seattle with the satirical bite that Maria Semple does with her wonderful, second novel, Where'd You Go, Bernadette (Little, Brown). This evening is a celebrationthe publication of this book which does carry heart and empathy and at the same time messes with some of the manners and mores of our precious part of the planet. "At times bringing tears-to-your-eyes laughter that skewers my own hometown (and quite possibly my mother). Where'd You Go, Bernadette is also a compassionate look at family dysfunction, the paralysis of genius, and good old-fashioned parental love." - Garth Stein. "Maria Semple deliciously sends up the privileged, overachieving PC world of the Emerald City. Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a crazy quilt of an epistolary novel, utterly contemporary yet pleasingly old-fashioned, and always light and witty." - Stewart O'Nan.