Melissa Chadburn with Anastacia-Reneé
Up from her Los Angeles home for what should be a memorable evening on several counts, Melissa Chadburn is here with her stunning debut novel, A Tiny Upward Shove (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Helping amplify the significance and power of this book will be Seattle’s Anastacia-Reneé’s joining for part of this.
“In Chadburn’s astonishing debut, the story of a Filipino woman’s short life is told by an aswang spirit. In 1994, after 18-year-old Marina Salles is murdered by serial killer Willie Pickton, the folkloric and omniscient aswang enters her body and recounts Marina’s harrowing coming-of-age … The environment hardens Marina, though she develops a loving relationship with her new girlfriend, Alex, who is also a victim of child abuse …The author’s poetic language enthralls, whether in relating the hardships of past generations of Salles women (“we broadcast them—each conversation a carnival of agonies”), or describing the bleak land of death (“There’s no numbing dope, no dick wows, no kitty kitty yum yum, just a floodlight on all the world’s needs”). This is electrifying.” - Publishers Weekly.
“A mesmerizing work in which beauty and ugliness and realism and mythology coexist. Chadburn is an emerging literary force.” —Jaquira Díaz
“Gorgeous, wrecking. I could not look away. Her telling held me captive and reminded me that art is its own kind of mercy.” —Melissa Febos.
“Melissa Chadburn gives words to a life’s sorrow, breathing into a life’s pain what novels provide—detailed and observant empathy.” —Gina Apostol.
We are delighted that esteemed queer writer, educator, interdisciplinary artist, speaker, and podcaster Anastacia-Reneé will also be part of this evening. A generous supporter of other writers’ work, she is a former Seattle Civic Poet, the author of (v.) and Forget It, and has Here in the (Middle) of Nowhere and Sidenotes from the Archivist forthcoming from Amistad.