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Syracuse's Carver Series Continues With Novelist Edan Lepucki Sept. 24

Her book 'California’ got the ‘Colbert-bump’

Sep 22, 2014 | Article by: Renée K. Gadoua

Photo of Edan Lepucki

Edan Lepucki


Edan Lepucki, whose debut novel, California (Little, Brown & Co., 2014), was published in July, is next up in Syracuse University’s Fall 2014 Raymond Carver Reading Series. On Wednesday, Sept. 24, she will participate in a Q&A session at 3:45 p.m., followed by a reading at 5:30 p.m., in H.B. Crouse Hall's Gifford Auditorium. Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, call 315-443-9480.

The Carver Series is sponsored by the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing, based in the College of Arts and Sciences' English department.

Reviewers describe California as post-apocalyptic satire, but Lepucki calls it a love story. The book focuses on Frida and Cal, who struggle to survive as the world falls to ruins. Although the survival theme is a familiar storyline, the “settings are haunting, and Lepucki’s inquiry into the psychology of trust, both intimate and communal, is keen and compelling,” writes Booklist.

Just before California was published, television host Stephen Colbert used it to criticize Amazon for discouraging customers from buying titles from Hachette Book Group. (Little, Brown & Co. is a division of Hachette). The dispute has involved an industry battle over e-book prices.

The so-called “Colbert Bump” boosted Lepucki’s book. It became one of the most preordered debut titles in Hachette history, with film rights being under discussion and Lepucki's author tour doubling in length, The New York Times reports.

“I felt kind of icky to be benefiting from this fight,” Lepucki told the Times. “At the same time, the opportunity to reach readers is a fantasy.”

Lepucki is also the author of the novella, If You’re Not Yet Like Me (Nouvella Press, 2013), and other short fiction. Her stories have appeared in McSweeney’s, Narrative Magazine, Meridian, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. She is a staff writer for the online literary magazine The Millions and teaches creative writing at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and Writing Workshops Los Angeles, the latter of which she founded.

The Carver Series continues with the following readers:

Wednesday, Oct. 8: Will Schutt, whose poetry collection Westerly (Yale University Press, 2013) won the 2012 Yale Series of Younger Poets award;

Wednesday, Oct. 22: Mary Ruefle, a poet and essayist whose latest collection is Trances of the Blast (Wave Books, 2014);

Wednesday, Nov. 5: Daisy Fried, whose Women's Poetry: Poems and Advice (University of Pittsburgh, 2013) was named one of last year's best poetry books by Library Journal; and

Wednesday, Dec. 3: The novelist Ruth Ozeki, a novelist whose most recent work, A Tale for the Time-Being (Viking/Canongate, 2013), was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

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Contact Information

Sarah Scalese
315-443-8085
sescales@syr.edu