LOCATION: LIVE ON ZOOM
A limited number of free tickets are available. You can also support Changing Hands by purchasing the book via Eventbrite below, or by contributing what you can. A suggested contribution of $5 or $10—whatever you can afford—will help keep our virtual event series sustainable and accessible to all. Thank you! You'll receive the Zoom link by email within 24 hours of the event's start time.*
Todd Robert Petersen discusses his new novel, Picnic in the Ruins, "a fast-paced, highly entertaining hybrid of Tony Hillerman and Edward Abbey" (Kirkus Reviews). He'll be in conversation with author and ASU creative writing professor Matt Bell.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Anthropologist Sophia Shepard is researching the impact of tourism on cultural sites in a remote national monument on the Utah-Arizona border when she crosses paths with two small-time criminals. The Ashdown brothers were hired to steal maps from a "collector" of Native American artifacts, but their ineptitude has alerted the local sheriff to their presence. Their employer, a former lobbyist seeking lucrative monument land that may soon be open to energy exploration, sends a fixer to clean up their mess. Suddenly, Sophia must put her theories to the test in the real world, and the stakes are higher than she could have ever imagined. What begins as a madcap caper across the RV-strewn vacation lands of southern Utah becomes a meditation on mythology, authenticity, the ethics of preservation, and one nagging question: Who owns the past?
*Our Zoom events are password-protected with wait rooms enabled. The password is entered automatically by clicking the event link when logged in to a Zoom account. We'll admit guests shortly before 6:30PM and throughout the event. If you join late, please be patient—we'll admit you when we see you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Robert Petersen grew up in Portland, Oregon, and now teaches film studies and creative writing at Southern Utah University. Petersen's previous books include Long After Dark, Rift, and It Needs to Look Like We Tried. He and his family live in Cedar City, Utah, on the western edge of the Markagunt Plateau.
ABOUT THE MODERATOR
Matt Bell's next novel, Appleseed, is forthcoming from Custom House/William Morrow in July 2021. He is also the author of the novels Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods, as well as the short story collection A Tree or a Person or a Wall, a non-fiction book about the classic video game Baldur's Gate II, and several other titles. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Tin House, Conjunctions, Fairy Tale Review, American Short Fiction, and many other publications. A native of Michigan, he teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.