Ottessa Moshfegh, Lapvona
June 21 @ 7:00 pm | Bookshop Santa Cruz
Presented by Bookshop Santa Cruz, Ottessa Moshfegh (My Year of Rest and Relaxation) will discuss her recent novel Lapvona, available in paperback June 20th. In a village in a medieval fiefdom buffeted by natural disasters, a motherless shepherd boy finds himself the unlikely pivot of a power struggle that puts all manner of faith to a savage test.
Little Marek, the abused and delusional son of the village shepherd, never knew his mother; his father told him she died in childbirth. One of life’s few consolations for Marek is his enduring bond with the blind village midwife, Ina, who suckled him when he was a baby, as she did so many of the village’s children. Ina’s gifts extend beyond childcare: she possesses a unique ability to communicate with the natural world. Her gift often brings her the transmission of sacred knowledge on levels far beyond those available to other villagers, however religious they might be. For some people, Ina’s home in the woods outside of the village is a place to fear and to avoid, a godless place.
Among their number is Father Barnabas, the town priest and lackey for the depraved lord and governor, Villiam, whose hilltop manor contains a secret embarrassment of riches. The people’s desperate need to believe that there are powers that be who have their best interests at heart is put to a cruel test by Villiam and the priest, especially in this year of record drought and famine. But when fate brings Marek into violent proximity to the lord’s family, new and occult forces upset the old order. By year’s end, the veil between blindness and sight, life and death, the natural world and the spirit world, will prove to be very thin indeed.
Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer from New England. Eileen, her first novel, was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. My Year of Rest and Relaxation and Death in Her Hands, her second and third novels, were New York Times bestsellers. She is also the author of the short story collection Homesick for Another World and a novella, McGlue. She lives in Southern California.
Micah Perks is the author of a memoir, a short story collection, and two novels. Her honors include a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the New Guard Machigonne 2014 Fiction Prize, residencies at Blue Mountain Center and MacDowell, and the Independent Publisher’s Gold Medal. The Guardian included her last book in the Top Ten Novels about the Apocalypse. She directs the creative writing program at UCSC.
This event is cosponsored by The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz.