in conversation with Marisa Matarazzo
discussing the writing life and her novel,
William Turner Gallery
Bergamot Station Arts Center
2525 Michigan Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90404
$43 Reserved Section + Book
$20 General Admission Section
Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is a writer of contemporary and historical fiction whose novels include the international bestseller Room (her screen adaptation was nominated for four Oscars), Frog Music, Slammerkin, The Sealed Letter, Landing, Life Mask, Hood, and Stirfry. Her story collections are Astray, The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, Kissing the Witch, and Touchy Subjects. She also writes literary history, and plays for stage and radio. She lives in London, Ontario, with her partner and their two children.
Marisa Matarazzo is the author of Drenched: Stories of Love and Other Deliriums. Her stories have appeared in a number of literary journals, and she has a piece forthcoming in The Believer. She is an Assistant Professor in the MFA Writing Program at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles and is currently at work on a novel.
Praise for Room
“Emma Donoghue’s writing is superb alchemy, changing innocence into horror and horror into tenderness. Room is a book to read in one sitting. When it’s over you look up: the world looks the same but you are somehow different and that feeling lingers for days.”―Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry
In her new novel, Akin, a retired New York professor’s life is thrown into chaos when he takes a young great-nephew to the French Riviera, in hopes of uncovering his own mother’s wartime secrets.
Noah Selvaggio, a widower living on the Upper West Side, but born in the South of France is days away from his first visit back to Nice since he was a child, bringing with him a handful of puzzling photos he’s discovered from his mother’s wartime years. But he receives a call from social services: he is the closest available relative of an eleven-year-old great-nephew he’s never met, who urgently needs someone to look after him. Out of a feeling of obligation, he agrees to take Michael along on his trip.
Much has changed in this famously charming seaside mecca, still haunted by memories of the Nazi occupation. The unlikely duo, suffering from jet lag and culture shock, bicker about everything from steak frites to screen time. But Noah gradually comes to appreciate the boy’s truculent wit, and Michael’s ease with tech and sharp eye help Noah unearth troubling details about their family’s past. Both come to grasp the risks people in all eras have run for their loved ones, and find they are more akin than they knew.
Akin is a funny, heart-wrenching tale of an old man and a boy, born two generations apart, who unpick their painful story and start to write a new one together.