2018 Pacific Northwest Book Award Nominees
Friday, March 13th, 7:00pm -- Novelist Megan Kruse
Orca Books is delighted to welcome novelist Megan Kruse to the store on this March evening. Megan will be reading from her powerful debut novel, "Call Me Home".
"Call Me Home" has an epic scope in the tradition of Louise Erdrich's "The Plague of Doves" or Marilynne Robinson's "Housekeeping" and braids the stories of a family in three distinct voices: Amy, who leaves her Texas home at 19 to start a new life with a man she barely knows, and her two children, Jackson and Lydia, who are rocked by their parents' abusive relationship. When Amy is forced to bargain for the safety of one child over the other, she must retrace the steps in the life she has chosen. Jackson, 18 and made visible by his sexuality, leaves home and eventually finds work on a construction crew in the Idaho mountains, where he begins a potentially ruinous affair with Don, the married foreman of his crew. Lydia, his 12-year-old sister, returns with her mother to Texas, struggling to understand what she perceives to be her mother's selfishness. At its heart, this is a novel about family, our choices and how we come to live with them, what it means to be queer in the rural West, and the changing idea of home.
Praise for "Call Me Home":
"Megan Kruse is a young writer of raw and fearless talent and Call Me Home showcases all she can do. She writes here of harrowing lives — of a family bent and broken by violence, where each person is desperately trying to somehow grow toward light and liberation. In the process, she offers a most unlikely tale of hardness and hustle, of grace and loss, of painful love and tough breaks and the unimaginable paths we must all eventually take toward survival." -- Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat Pray Love"
"I’ve been a big fan of Megan Kruse for a long time, but Call Me Home left me astonished by her talent. Beautifully written, deeply felt and utterly compelling, this story of a desperate family separated and on the run is full of unforgettable scenes and richly imagined characters and heady suspense. It’s so vivid, it feels like my own memory. I recommend it with all my heart." -- Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply
"Megan Kruse has written a tough, unflinching and very loving story about an isolated family trying to scrape by and find a way, one way or another, to survive. I was deeply moved by the lives of her characters and scared for them right up to the end. Just a wonderful book, in every way." -- Beverly Lowry, author of "Crossed Over: A Murder Mystery
"An urgent, beautiful book about love and its consequences, set against a backdrop of the unglamorized West. These characters will lodge themselves in your imagination, stick with you long after you’re done reading. A fine and original first novel." -- Kevin Canty, author of "Winslow in Love
"I’m not sure how Megan Kruse did it. Her first novel manages to be a swift yet contemplative story of how a family can love each other fiercely even when every heart involved gets broken. Through its cast of characters, she is able to focus on what makes a human life shine with joy or ache with conflict. Her writing is cinematic—going from intense close-ups to beautiful sweeping wide shots. Call Me Home is a multi-layered and deeply felt wonder." -- Kevin Sampsell, Author of "A Common Pornography"
"I can’t stop thinking about this book. Call Me Home is a harrowing, beautiful, and tender novel about the meaning of home, loneliness, and the endurance of love. Megan Kruse is a talented and fearless writer, and the prose is just stunning. Call Me Home is a tremendous accomplishment." -- Carter Sickels, author of "The Evening Hour"
"Megan Kruse is a stunning and inspiring new voice in American literature. Her beautiful debut, Call Me Home, proves that even as the violence of our lives invents us, a story can do something like save us. Read it and stick it in your heart." -- Ariel Gore, author of "The End of Eve"
"Call Me Home is an uncommonly powerful debut novel. Megan Kruse writes with great heart and intelligence as she crafts a gripping story from the shards of a broken family." -- Jess Walter, author of "Beautiful Ruins"