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VICTORIA REDEL discusses her novel BEFORE EVERYTHING, with SETH GREENLAND

Before Everything (Viking)

Before Everything is a celebration of friendship and love between a group of women who have known each another since they were girls. They’ve faced everything together, from youthful sprees and scrapes to mid-life turning points. Now, as Anna, the group’s trailblazer and brightest spark, enters hospice, they gather to do what they’ve always done—talk and laugh and help each other make choices and plans, this time in Anna’s rural Massachusetts home. Helen, Anna’s best friend and a celebrated painter, is about to remarry. The others face their own challenges—Caroline with her sister’s mental health crisis; Molly with a teenage daughter’s rebellion; Ming with her law practice—dilemmas with kids and work and love. Before Everything is as funny as it is bittersweet, as the friends revel in the hilarious mistakes they’ve seen each another through, the secrets kept, and adventures shared. But now all sense of time has shifted, and the pattern of their lives together takes on new meaning. The novel offers a brilliant, emotionally charged portrait, deftly conveying the sweep of time over everyday lives, and showing how even in difficult endings, gifts can unfold. Above all it is an ode to friendship, and to how one person shapes the journeys of those around her.

Praise for Before Everything 

“Gorgeous, a heartbreaker, a non-stop dazzler, a major achievement. Thank you, Victoria Redel.”—Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Hours

“Before Everything is a riveting, timely story that explores  the unsettlingly beautiful and emotionally-charged landscape that is revealed  when old friends embrace what they have never before admitted: the limits of mortality and the boundlessness of friendship.”—Ruth Ozeki, bestselling author of A Tale for the Time Being 
 
“Victoria Redel bears witness to a remarkable group of women, effortlessly weaving back and forth through time, each thread revealing the cracks and secrets of their complex lives, while also drawing them closer. . . . Redel proves that female friendship is the quiet, steady engine that truly runs the world.”—Hannah Tinti, bestselling author of The Good Thief

Before Everything is, well, everything you want a novel about life, death, and friendship to be—smart, moving, sweeping, poetic, stinging, just beautiful. I loved these women (and their men) and this elegy to their long-reaching bonds.”—Dani Shapiro, author of Slow MotionDevotion: A Memoir, and Still Writing

Victoria Redel is the critically acclaimed author of four previous works of fiction and three collections of poetry. Her debut novel, Loverboy, was named one of the best books of the year by the Los Angeles Times and won the Sister Mariella Gable Prize from Graywolf Press and the Forward Silver Literary Fiction Prize. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and has contributed to The New York Times, theLos Angeles TimesElleO, the Oprah MagazineGrantaOne Story, and the Harvard Review. She received her MFA in poetry from Columbia University and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

Seth Greenland is a novelist, an award-winning playwright, and a screenwriter. He is the author of the novels I Regret Everything, The Angry Buddhist, The Bones, and Shining City, which was named a Best Book by the Washington Post. He was a writer-producer on the Emmy-nominated HBO series Big Love and executive produced the film, No Pay, Nudity. Until recently he was the co-host of the LARB Radio Hour on KPFK. Born in New York City, Greenland currently lives with his wife in Los Angeles. www.SethGreenland.com

Victoria Redel photo by Sigrid Estrada

Event date: 
Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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