Wednesday, June 10, 1pm CST
Left Bank Books' Facebook Page
Left Bank Books welcomes journalist and novelist Deni Ellis Béchard, who will discuss his new novel, A Song from Faraway, on Facebook Live at 1pm CST on June 10. Béchard will be in conversation with National Book Award winner Phil Klay. Join us on our Facebook Page and order a copy of A Song from Faraway from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
With his first book, the Commonwealth Prize-winning Vandal Love, Deni Ellis Béchard "reinvented the generational novel with innovative brilliance" (Robert Olen Butler). In his second novel, Into the Sun, he offered "a ferociously intelligent and intensely gripping portrait of the expatriate community in Kabul" (Phil Klay). Most recently, Foreword Reviews described his third novel, White, as "captivating, careening, thrilling, and magical." In this, his fourth work of fiction, Béchard takes readers from nineteenth-century Prince Edward Island to modern-day Iraq, tracing the story of a North American family that is at once singular and emblematic, and exploring the cultural repercussions of war and violence.
Reinventing themselves in often unexpected ways, the characters in this tapestry defy simplification. A pair of half-brothers come together and drift apart, one passive and risk-averse, the other driven by a passionate desire to understand their reclusive father. A student of Mesopotamian archaeology encounters a young Iraqi man and soon finds himself in Kurdistan, researching stolen artifacts along with mysteries in his father's past. An Irish-Acadian soldier carries his fiddle and folk song across the battlefields of the First World War. An orphan-turned-assassin pursues his target across the deserts of Mexico and Texas, using a novel as evidence for his location. Growing together and then apart, these and others chase their dreams and run from their nightmares, hungry for life and longing for purpose.
Animated throughout by a striking beauty and ferocity, A Song from Faraway pieces together "stories we tell about ourselves," illuminating the human condition and our times.
"A Song from Faraway brings us around the world, singing a song about the folly of truth. It is unsettling and playful and uncanny and breathtaking. Deni Ellis Béchard does in this work what a novel should do; he makes it new and spellbinds us with it."--Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer
"Brave and complex, A Song from Faraway is prose of the highest order, offering a masterclass of characters that have nowhere to hide under the harsh light of their flawed lives. In this blanched terrain, Béchard proves himself to be a magician of a storyteller, deftly commanding the reader's attention with one hand while the other produces surprise after magnificent surprise."--Dimitri Nasrallah
Deni Ellis Béchard is the author of seven previous books of fiction and nonfiction, including Vandal Love, winner of the 2007 Commonwealth Writers Prize, and Into the Sun, winner of the 2016 Midwest Book Award for Literary Fiction and selected by CBC/Radio-Canada as one of the most important books to be read by Canada's political leadership. His work has received the Nautilus Book Award for Investigative Journalism and been featured in Best Canadian Essays, and his photojournalism has been exhibited in the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. His articles, fiction, and photos have been published in dozens of newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times, Salon, Reuters, the Paris Review, The Guardian, Patagonia, La Repubblica, The Walrus, Pacific Standard, Le Devoir, Vanity Fair Italia, the Herald (Scotland), the Huffington Post, the Harvard Review, the National Post, and Foreign Policy. He has reported from India, Cuba, Rwanda, Colombia, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Afghanistan.
Phil Klay is a veteran of the US Marine Corps. His short story collection Redeployment won the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction and the National Book Critics' Circle John Leonard Prize for best debut work in any genre, and was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by The New York Times. His nonfiction work won the George W. Hunt, S.J., Prize for Journalism, Arts & Letters in the category of Cultural & Historical Criticism in 2018. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and the Brookings Institution's Brookings Essay series. He currently teaches fiction at Fairfield University.
All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Page, "Like" the page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins).