Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Nisi Shawl Reads & Signs Her First Novel

Yesterday, Tor released Nisi Shawl's debut novel, Everfair, and last night at University Bookstore in Seattle, a crowd of sixty hung on Nisi's every word spoken and note sung. No one who's been to a recent reading by Nisi will be surprised to hear that she opened her reading with a song important to the characters in her just-released Everfair; but not only did she sing a capella, she also directed the audience to join in the chorus (which we all did). Flashing us a mischievous smile, she promised to read us a sex scene--which she did--but I had to laugh when someone later, standing in the long queue of people waiting to get their copy of the book signed, grumbled with amusement that it was actually a scene of sex interrupted. At any rate, I came away with my own copy in a mood of exultation.

Nisi commented to another writer before the reading that it had taken her sixty years to achieve this book. This resonated powerfully with me when University Bookstore host Duane Wilkins reminded us of Nisi's long view by beginning his introduction with an anecdote of how Nisi had many years back asked him if she could read her first novel at the bookstore and that when he'd said sure and asked her when it was due to be released she replied that she hadn't yet written it. Obviously, she was thinking ahead.  

Nisi's going to be reading in a variety of locations across the US this fall. has posted her schedule for September (and presumably will be updating that with more appearances that I know she has planned). I know this blog's regular readers will want to read Everfair. I haven't yet read it myself, but the blurb on the front cover, by Karen Joy Fowler, reads: "A book with gorgeous sweep, spanning years and continents, loves and hates, histories and fantasies...Everfair is sometimes sad, often luminous, and always original. A wonderful achievement." Enough said.

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