Last Monday, I attended a reading at Franklin Park, a bar in Brooklyn, where I heard a few debut authors read from their works. The theme was travels and journeys.
Elliott Holt read from her debut novel, You Are One of Them. This book has been getting a lot of good press. It’s about the friendship of two American girls, Sarah and Jennifer, who grow up together in DC. Jennifer’s family moves to Moscow in the 80s, when she is a teen, and the family dies in a plane crash. Ten years later, Sarah travels to Moscow on a tip that her friend might not be dead.
Sarah Bruni read from her debut novel, The Night Gwen Stacy Died. Riffing off the Spider-Man comics series, Sheila, a teenage girl from Iowa, who is saving up her money to travel to France, meets a man who calls himself Peter Parker and entices her to set off on an adventure. The chapter she read from was based in Iowa City – my hometown. Gotta support a novel set in Iowa!
And finally, Emily Raboteau, who has published fiction, read from her first memoir, Searching for Zion. The book chronicles her journey to Africa, Jamaica and the American South to learn more about Black Zionists. She read a chapter from her visit to Jamaica where she learned about Rastafarianism.
All three authors were great readers and made me interested in their books. I hope to review at least one of them in more depth later this year.