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Paul Skenazy, Temper CA
January 10, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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This free event will take place at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Chairs for open seating are usually set up about an hour before the event begins.
If you have ADA accommodation requests for this event, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by January 8th.
Joy Temper grew up wandering the woods of Temper, CA, a Gold Rush town her family helped establish in the 1840s. When she returns to Temper for her grandfather’s funeral, she discovers that the stories she’s long traded on about her hippie upbringing have little to do with reality. Her struggles to face who she once was, and what she now desires, force her to confront family secrets and long-suppressed memories in a novella both familial and romantic, contemporary and historical.
“Paul Skenazy’s fiction misbehaves. It swerves, it revisits ground and digs deeper, it confounds expectations. He has the gift of creating characters who are sympathetic not in spite of their prickliness but because of it, and of depicting human bonds that are all the tenser for being so strong.”—Jonathan Franzen
“This elegant and unforgettable novella pulls us into the secrets and desires of Joy Temper, a woman carrying the weight of her family and a fair share of California history on her shoulders. Skenazy reminds us that our deepest wounds often make us most receptive and alive.”—Elizabeth McKenzie
“This is a beautiful and fascinating book, a skillfully constructed and dramatic story about hatred and profound affection within a difficult family. It’s a mystery tale about redefining a childhood and rediscovering many aspects of love. I was moved deeply throughout, and consider Temper CA a small, truly insightful and courageous masterpiece.”—John Nichols
Paul Skenazy grew up in Chicago, studied at the University of Chicago and Stanford, and taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has published essays, stories, and reviews in a range of newspapers and magazines, as well as critical work on James M. Cain and other noir writers. He lives in Santa Cruz with the poet Farnaz Fatemi.