Parnassus Books is thrilled to welcome Chloe Benjamin and Thomas Pierce to read from and sign their new novels!
About The Immortalists:
If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life? It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. In search of one thing they can know for sure, the Gold children–four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness–sneak out to hear their fortunes. Though the siblings keep the dates secret from one another, their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in 1980s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality. In the vein of Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You and Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings, The Immortalists tells a profoundly moving and compulsively readable family love story about life, mortality and the choices we make: is it better to live a long and cautious life, or to burn brightly, but for the shortest time? Beautifully rendered in Benjamin’s lucid, magical prose, The Immortalists is a testament to the power of story, offering a sweeping portrait of a rapidly evolving America as well as one captivating clan.
Chloe Benjamin is the author of the novel The Anatomy of Dreams, which received the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award and was longlisted for the 2014 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. A San Francisco native, Benjamin is a graduate of Vassar College and of the University of Wisconsin, where she received her MFA in fiction. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have been published in The Millions, PANK, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. She lives with her husband in Madison, Wisconsin.
About The Afterlives:
Thomas Pierce’s debut novel is a funny, poignant love story that answers the question: What happens after we die? (Lots of stuff, it turns out).
Jim Byrd died. Technically. For a few minutes. The diagnosis: heart attack at age thirty. Revived with no memory of any tunnels, lights, or angels, Jim wonders what–if anything–awaits us on the other side. Then a ghost shows up. Maybe. Jim and his new wife, Annie, find themselves tangling with holograms, psychics, messages from the beyond, and a machine that connects the living and the dead. As Jim and Annie journey through history and fumble through faith, they confront the specter of loss that looms for anyone who dares to fall in love. Funny, fiercely original, and gracefully moving, The Afterlives will haunt you. In a good way.
Thomas Pierce was born and raised in South Carolina. He is the author of the collection, Hall of Small Mammals, and his stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Oxford American, and elsewhere. A recipient of the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 award, he is a graduate of the University of Virginia creative writing program and lives in Virginia with his wife and daughters.