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First Fiction at First Draft featuring:
Danya Kukafka: Girl in Snow
Gabriel Tallent: My Absolute Darling
Donia Bijan: The Last Days of Cafe Leila

7PM WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
author photo
author photo



It's back! First Fiction returns to Changing Hands Bookstore, now at our own First Draft Book Bar.

FREE EVENT! Three first-time fiction writers read excerpts from their buzz-worthy novels while YOU enjoy happy hour prices at the bar. Afterwards, we'll open the floor to questions, then crank some music for an informal mixer with the authors.

FREE PARKING / LIGHT RAIL
  • There is plenty of free public parking west of Changing Hands Phoenix, at 400 and 444 West Camelback. Additional free public parking across Camelback to the south.
  • Don't want to drive? Take the Light Rail! It lets off at the Central Avenue/Camelback Park-and-Ride, which has hundreds of free parking spaces across the street from Changing Hands.

ABOUT THE BOOKS

Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka:
When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched--not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters--Cameron, Jade, and Russ--must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both. In crystalline prose, Danya Kukafka offers a brilliant exploration of identity and of the razor-sharp line between love and obsession, between watching and seeing, between truth and memory.

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent:
Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father. Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. The reader tracks Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, and watches, heart in throat, as she struggles to become her own hero--and in the process, becomes ours as well.

The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan:
Set against the backdrop of Iran's rich, turbulent history, this exquisite debut novel is a powerful story of food, family, and a bittersweet homecoming. When we first meet Noor, she is living in San Francisco, missing her beloved father, Zod, in Iran. Now, dragging her stubborn teenage daughter, Lily, with her, she returns to Tehran and to Cafe Leila, the restaurant her family has been running for three generations. Iran may have changed, but Cafe Leila, still run by Zod, has stayed blessedly the same--it is a refuge of laughter and solace for its makeshift family of staff and regulars. As Noor revisits her Persian childhood, she must rethink who she is--a mother, a daughter, a woman estranged from her marriage and from her life in California. And together, she and Lily get swept up in the beauty and brutality of Tehran.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

DANYA KUKAFKA is a graduate of New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She currently works as an assistant editor at Riverhead books. Girl in Snow is her first novel.

GABRIEL TALLENT was born in New Mexico and raised on the Mendocino coast by two mothers. He received his B.A. from Willamette University in 2010, and after graduation spent two seasons leading youth trail crews in the backcountry of the Pacific Northwest. Tallent lives in Salt Lake City.

DONIA BIJAN graduated from UC Berkeley and Le Cordon Bleu. After presiding over many of San Francisco's acclaimed restaurants and earning awards for her French-inspired cuisine, in 1994 she opened her own restaurant, L'amie Donia, in Palo Alto. She now divides her days between raising her son, teaching, and writing.
 
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