Micheline Aharonian Marcom with Keenan Norris
While of course we’d be wishing these evenings to happen with all of us in the presence of each other, we are delighted to bring authors here by whichever means. Which is certainly the case with novelist Micheline Aharoniam Marcom, who gave one of her very first public readings at Elliott Bay when her astonishing debut, Three Apples Fell From Heaven, was published in 2001. She has been back since, and welcomely so, with a number of novels, those initially following Three Apples, which explored the 20th century’s Armenian genocide and its ramifications, over the years. Tonight, it is her newest, The New American (Simon & Schuster).
“In Marcom’s powerful, heartbreaking latest (after The Brick House), an undocumented college student makes the long odyssey back to California from Guatemala after being deported ... Desperate to return to his home, his studies, his family, and his girlfriend in California, Emilio embarks on a violent and treacherous trip hopping freight trains with four other migrants. Along the way, members of their group become victims of thieves, rapists, and sadistic police, and must contend with unreliable smugglers. There are also safe houses and villagers who provide food, water, clothing, and medical care, and generous fellow migrants. Marcom’s prose is steady and soulful, particularly during the graphic, harrowing account of an excruciating Sonora Desert crossing, and the narrative is deepened by a series of lyrical interludes describing dangerous journeys of unnamed refugees. Marcom’s remarkable tale credibly captures the desperation and despair of those who undertake the dangerous trek north. - Publishers Weekly.
In conversation with her will be San Jose-based writer and professor Keenan Norris, who is the author of the novel, Brother and the Dancer.