Avid presents a hometown book launch with Xhenet Aliu and Timothy O'Keefe, respective authors of Brass and You Are the Phenomenology. This event will take place on Saturday, February 17, at our Prince Ave. location and will run from 6pm to 7pm. The event will be free and open to the public. We encourage you to purchase a copy of either or both of these titles, and to get them signed at the event!
ABOUT THE BOOKS:
A waitress at the Betsy Ross Diner, Elsie hopes her nickel and dime tips will add up to a new life. Then she meets Bashkim, who is at once both worldly and naïve, a married man who left Albania to chase his dreams—and wound up working as a line cook in Waterbury, Connecticut. Back when the brass mills were still open, this bustling factory town drew one wave of immigrants after another. Now, it’s the place they can’t seem to leave. Elsie, herself the granddaughter of Lithuanian immigrants, falls in love quickly, but when Bashkim learns that she’s pregnant, Elsie can’t help wondering where his heart really lies, and what he’ll do about the wife he left behind.
Seventeen years later, headstrong and independent Luljeta receives a rejection letter from NYU and her first-ever suspension from school on the same day. Instead of striking out on her own in Manhattan, she’s stuck in Connecticut with her mother, Elsie—a fate she refuses to accept. Wondering if the key to her future is unlocking the secrets of the past, Lulu decides to find out what exactly her mother has been hiding about the father she never knew. As she soon discovers, the truth is closer than she ever imagined.
You Are the Phenomenology is a cross-genre book—a blend of poetry, songs, lyric prose, and invented forms—that explores the everyday junctures of perception, compassion, and multiplicity.
One of the volume’s innovative forms is a poetic series called “Quadrilaterals”—four-line poems that present the reader with various ways to leap associative gaps.How might our powers of association create shared experiences without distorting the contexts from which those experiences emerge?
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Called “extremely funny and mordant” by author Sherman Alexie, Xhenet Aliu’s debut fiction collection, Domesticated Wild Things, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Her novel, Brass (Random House) is out in January 2018.
Aliu’s short fiction and essays have appeared in journals such as Glimmer Train, Hobart, The Barcelona Review, Necessary Fiction, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere, and she has received multiple scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, and a fellowship from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, among other awards, including a special mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology. She holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and an MLIS from the University of Alabama, where she was an ALFA fellow, studying methods of delivering information services to individuals with disabilities. A native of Waterbury, Connecticut, whose brass industry attracted large waves of Eastern European immigrants before the demise of the factories in the 1970s and ’80s, she was born to an Albanian father and a Lithuanian American mother. She now lives in Athens, Georgia, and works as an academic librarian.
Timothy O'Keefe is the author of The Goodbye Town, winner of the 2010 FIELD Poetry Prize, and his poems have appeared in a wide array of journals, including the American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and Colorado Review.