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ELIZABETH CRANE reads from her new novel TURF

Turf (Counterpoint Press)

Blazing through states, cities, towns, continents, Crane fearlessly pivots from micro to macro, humor to tragedy, past to present, mixing an off-kilter sensibility with a heartbreaking reality, guiding us into the fringed and often fantastical lives of her characters. And that has never been truer than in her new collection, Turf.

The end of the world as seen through a young couple in Brooklyn, who find a baby in a bucket on their front step; a group of geniuses who meet every Wednesday, able to unlock all the secrets of the universe except for the unknowable mystery of love; a woman and her dog walker whose friendship is uprooted by an incident at the park; these are dark, intriguing vistas explored in Crane’s glowing collection. For as places change, and people come and go, these stories in Turf remind us that it is the unchanging nature of the human heart that connects us all.

Praise for Elizabeth Crane:

"The novel flows smoothly, and readers game for offbeat narrative approaches will be well rewarded . . . So much like the relationship they’re borne of, Crane’s deeply realized mother-daughter inventions are therapeutic and ruthless, heartfelt and crushing. A lovely exercise in the wild, soothing wonders of imagination.” —Booklist, Starred Review 

“Poignant and hilarious . . . Crane writes about the relationship between a deceased mother and her daughter as they tell each other’s stories to understand each other.” —Los Angeles Times

“Imagine sitting at a leisurely dinner with two intelligent women, a mother and daughter . . . The format may be experimental, but the emotions the book will stir in readers are moving and heartbreakingly familiar.” —Library Journal

“I cannot remember the last time I simultaneously cried and laughed as hard as I did while reading Elizabeth Crane’s glorious, tender knockout of a novel, The History of Great Things. Wait, yes I can. It was the last time I spoke to my mom about life.” —Amber Tamblyn, author of Dark Sparkler

“A poignant dual narrative . . . Alternating between laugh-out-loud humor and heart-rending melancholy, Crane gives us a mother and daughter who never quite grasp each other’s life stories, but who find truth through unconditional love.” —Bookpage

“Ultimately, The History of Great Things is a story of perception, one well worth reading. It serves as a reminder that what truly matters to each of us is not what actually happens, but how we remember it.”  —The Rumpus 

“An important work, fearless in both structure and vision, with Crane’s razor-edge fusion of intelligence, humor, and emotion informing every chapter. Get ready, world: this one’s going to be huge.” —Jamie Quatro, author of I Want to Show You More 

“Like everything Elizabeth Crane writes, The History of Great Things is wonderful fun to read—smart, insightful, and witty—but it will break your heart, too. It stares down the poignant question so many daughters want to ask: How well did my mother really know me?” —Pamela Erens, author of Eleven Hours and The Virgins

“The Copelands would feel right at home in a Noah Baumbach movie . . . Our narrator is an omniscient ‘We’ who reports the goings-on of the family with the breathless glee of an incurable gossip.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Its style is literary, with an edge: The point of view is wicked, the characters prickly, the language not quite quotable here. I can’t wait to read past the first chapter.”—Los Angeles Times

“Like any good story writer, she had me in the first two paragraphs . . . A treat to read. The characters are crisp and enjoyable; the narrator is smart and witty.”—Iowa Press-Citizen

“This is an irresistible and winsome read. A truly astute tale of love neglected and reclaimed, family resiliency, spiritual inquiries, and personal metamorphoses.” —Booklist, Starred Review

 “Crane delivers a unique and dizzying tale that delves into the emotional life of a family teetering on the brink of everything . . . The beauty in Crane’s novel is her sweep from acid commentary to heartfelt portrayal of real-life loves and losses.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Crane’s novel is filled with deliciously idiosyncratic characters, humorous and distinct narration, and a whole lot of personality. Each character’s emotional growth is just enough to satisfy, without being overbearing . . . Crane’s summer novel has undeniable heart.” —Publishers Weekly

“At last a novel from Elizabeth Crane! With her expert humorist’s eye for detail, she gives us a playful, passionate story of longing, heartbreak, and of the gargantuan human will. You won’t be able to stop reading.” —Deb Olin Unferth, author of Revolution

“Not since The Royal Tenenbaums have I loved a family so much. The Copelands of We Only Know So Much are wonderfully eccentric, hilariously not self-aware and strangely adorable. They seemed so real, I felt like I was reading my own family story.” —Jessica Anya Blau, author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and Drinking Closer to Home

“This is the kind of book that inspires a person to see the beauty in the ordinary, to stop concentrating on others’ failings long enough to see their spark and maybe rediscover his or her own.”—Susan Henderson, author of Up from the Blue

“A beautiful, warmhearted, ferociously honest debut that will pull you in with its chorus of true voices and catch you off guard with its playful, restless edginess.” —Patrick Somerville, author of The Cradle and This Bright River

Elizabeth Crane is the author of the novels The History of Great Things and We Only Know So Much and three collections of short stories. Her stories have been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts. She is a recipient of the Chicago Public Library 21st Century Award, and her work has been adapted for the stage by Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. She currently lives in Newburgh, New York

Event date: 
Monday, June 12, 2017 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Turf: Stories Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781619029347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soft Skull Press - June 13th, 2017

We Only Know So Much Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062099471
Availability: Special Order
Published: Harper Perennial - June 12th, 2012

The History of Great Things Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062412676
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - April 5th, 2016