Kristen Arnett, Mostly Dead Things
Join 702WI at State Line Distillery on Thursday, July 18th at 7pm for a reading and discussion with Kristen Arnett, author of the new novel Mostly Dead Things! Arnett will be introduced and in conversation with author and Madison Writers Studio co-founder Michelle Wildgen. Food and drink available for purchase beforehand, with a book signing to follow!
Kristen Arnett’s debut novel is a darkly funny, heart-wrenching, and eccentric look at loss and love.
One morning, Jessa-Lynn Morton walks into the family taxidermy shop to find that her father has committed suicide, right there on one of the metal tables. Shocked and grieving, Jessa steps up to manage the failing business, while the rest of the Morton family crumbles. Her mother starts sneaking into the shop to make aggressively lewd art with the taxidermied animals. Her brother Milo withdraws, struggling to function. And Brynn, Milo’s wife―and the only person Jessa’s ever been in love with―walks out without a word. As Jessa seeks out less-than-legal ways of generating income, her mother’s art escalates―picture a figure of her dead husband and a stuffed buffalo in an uncomfortably sexual pose―and the Mortons reach a tipping point. For the first time, Jessa has no choice but to learn who these people truly are, and ultimately how she fits alongside them.
Kristen Arnett is a queer fiction and essay writer. She won the 2017 Coil Book Award for her debut short fiction collection, Felt in the Jaw, and was awarded Ninth Letter's 2015 Literary Award in Fiction. She's a columnist for Literary Hub and her work has either appeared or is upcoming at North American Review, The Normal School, Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, Guernica, Electric Literature, Volume 1 Brooklyn, Bennington Review, Tin House Flash Fridays/The Guardian, Salon, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.
Michelle Wildgen is the author of the novels You’re Not You, But Not For Long, and Bread and Butter, and the editor of the food writing anthology Food & Booze. A longtime executive editor with the award-winning literary journal Tin House, she is a freelance editor and creative writing teacher in Madison. Since 2013 she and novelist Susanna Daniel have run the Madison Writers’ Studio, offering a variety of creative writing workshops and classes.
Enjoy craft cocktails and good eats before the event! See what State Line is mixing up here.