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Reading: Alle C. Hall with Emme Lund
Annie Bloom's welcomes Seattle writer Alle C. Hall for an in-store reading from her novel, As Far as You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back. Alle will be in conversation with Portland author Emme Lund, whose debut novel is The Boy with a Bird in His Chest.
About As Far as You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back:
Two classics, The Lovely Bones and The Beach, meet in this girl-and-her-backpack story––except this teenager, Carlie, isn't merely traveling. Carlie steals ten thousand dollars from her parents to get as far from them as possible: Southeast Asia. There, the Lonely Planet path of hooks, heat, alcohol and drugs takes on a terrifying reality. Landing in Tokyo in the late 1980s, teaching English and practicing tai chi, Carlie has the chance at a journey she didn't plan for: one to find the self-respect ripped from her as a child and the healthy sexuality she desires.
April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Barak Obama established SAAM in 2009. He wrote: "During National SAAM, we recommit ourselves not only to lifting the veil of secrecy and shame surrounding sexual violence, but also to raising awareness, expanding support for victims, and strengthening our response."
Alle C. Hall is a Seattle writer who lived in Japan for three years, traveled extensively in Southeast Asia, speaks what she calls, "clunky Japanese," and who has practiced tai chi for 35 years. Her first novel won two First Place awards at the 2022 International Firebird Book Awards: Literary and Coming of Age; as well as taking home Second Place in Women’s Issues. Excerpts from As Far as You Can Go Before You Have to Come Back won the 2022 National League of American Pen Women's Mary Kennedy Eastham Flash Fiction Prize as well as the 2020 The Lascaux Prize. Hall's short stories appear in Dale Peck's Evergreen Review, New World Writing, Tupelo Quarterly and Litro. Her essays can be read in Creative Nonfiction Magazine, Another Chicago Magazine, The Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, and The Stranger, where she was a contributing editor. Additionally, Hall is a Best Small Fictions and Best of the Net nominee.
About The Boy with a Bird in His Chest:
Though Owen Tanner has never met anyone else who has a chatty bird in their chest, medical forums would call him a Terror. From the moment Gail emerged between Owen's ribs, his mother knew that she had to hide him away from the world. After a decade spent in isolation, Owen takes a brazen trip outdoors and his life is upended forever. Suddenly, he is forced to flee the home that had once felt so confining and hide in plain sight with his uncle and cousin in Washington. There, he feels the joy of finding a family among friends; of sharing the bird in his chest and being embraced fully; of falling in love and feeling the devastating heartbreak of rejection before finding a spark of happiness in the most unexpected place; of living his truth regardless of how hard the thieves of joy may try to tear him down. But the threat of the Army of Acronyms is a constant, looming presence, making Owen wonder if he'll ever find a way out of the cycle of fear.
Emme Lund is an author living and writing in Portland, OR. She has an MFA from Mills College. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, TIME Magazine, The Rumpus, Romper, the Portland Mercury, and Autostraddle, among many other venues. In 2016, Quiet Lightning Books published a limited run of her book, The Sacred Text of Rosa Who is Great, complete with art by Stella Peach, about which Andrew Sean Greer wrote, "I have been looking for this book for years! Against every modern trend: a brilliant, old-world, handmade piece of magic." In 2019, she was awarded an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship in Fiction. She is represented by Leila Campoli at Stonesong. The Boy with a Bird in His Chest (Atria Books, 2022) is her first novel.