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Katy Simpson Smith in conversation with Jami Attenberg

April 18, 2023 • 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Join us Tuesday, April 18th to celebrate the launch of Katy Simpson Smith’s latest novel, The Weeds!

Katy Simpson Smith will be in conversation with Jami Attenberg.

Two women, connected across time, edge toward transgression in pursuit of their desires.

A Mississippi woman pushes through the ruin of the Roman Colosseum, searching for plants. She has escaped her life, signed up to catalog all the species growing in this place. Crawling along the stones, she wonders how she has landed here, a reluctant botanist amid a snarl of tourists in comfortable sandals. She hunts for a scientific agenda and a direction of her own.

In 1854, a woman pushes through the jungle of the Roman Colosseum, searching for plants. As punishment for her misbehavior, she has been indentured to the English botanist Richard Deakin, for whom she will compile a flora. She is a thief, and she must find new ways to use her hands. If only the woman she loves weren’t on a boat, with a husband. But love isn’t always possible. She logs 420 species.

Through a list of seemingly minor plants and their uses—medical, agricultural, culinary—these women calculate intangible threats: a changing climate, the cost of knowledge, and the ways repeated violence can upend women’s lives. They must forge their own small acts of defiance and slip through whatever cracks they find. How can anyone survive?

Lush, intoxicating, and teeming with mischief, Katy Simpson Smith’s The Weeds is a tense, mesmerizing page-turner about science and survival, the roles women are given and have taken from them, and the lives they make for themselves.


Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She is the author of the novels The Story of Land and Sea, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and one of Vogue’s Best Books of 2014; Free Men; and The Everlasting, a New York Times Best Historical Fiction Book of 2020. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Oxford American, Granta, Literary Hub, and elsewhere. She received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, and is also the author of We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835. She lives in New Orleans.

Jami Attenberg has written about food, travel, books, relationships and urban life for The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Times, Slate, and others. All This Could Be Yours was published in 2019 by HMH Books and Serpent’s Tail (UK), as well as in Italy, Germany, China, and Brazil. Her work has been published in a total of sixteen languages.

Her debut collection of stories, Instant Love, was published in 2006, followed by the novels The Kept Man and The Melting Season. Her fourth book, The Middlesteins, was published in October 2012. It appeared on The New York Times bestseller list, and was published in ten countries in 2013. It was also a finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and the St. Francis College Literary Prize. A fifth book, Saint Mazie, was published in 2015 and has been optioned by Fable Pictures. Her sixth book, All Grown Up, was published in 2017 and was a national bestseller, appearing on numerous year-end lists.

In 2024 she will publish a new novel, and also a creativity book, 1000 Words:A Guide to Staying Creative, Focused, and Productive All-Year Round.

She lives in New Orleans, LA.

Details

Date:
April 18, 2023
Time:
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Venue

Blue Cypress Books
8123 Oak Street
New Orleans, LA 70118 United States
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Phone
15043520096

Organizer

Blue Cypress Books
Phone
504-352-0096
Email
team@bluecypressbooks.com