AJA GABEL reads from her debut novel THE ENSEMBLE with MAGGIE SHIPSTEAD

The Ensemble (Riverhead)

Aja Gabel is a literary star on the rise. She holds both an MFA and Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing and was a Writing Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Center. Her essay, “The Sparrows in France,” earned her an honorable mention in Best American Essays 2015 and her short story “Necessary Animals” was named a Distinguished Story in Best American Short Stories 2017, edited by Meg Wolitzer.

Adding to this list of literary accomplishments, Gabel is a trained classical cellist who has performed with competitive quartets and chamber groups across the country. Gabel brilliantly marries her two artistic passions in The Ensemble, an entrancing debut novel about the enduring relationship between four extraordinary young musicians:

Brit, Henry, Jana, and Daniel. This unforgettable group is drawn together in their twenties to form the Van Ness Quartet, igniting a powerful bond that forever links them through shared passion, thwarted dreams, buried secrets, and, above all, an enduring loyalty to one another. Aja Gabel masterfully conveys the all-consuming flame of youthful ambition, the tension between raw talent and hard work, and the intense love shared between members of a family brought together not by blood, but by choice.

Vibrant, romantic, and propulsive, The Ensemble announces a major talent to watch in Aja Gabel.

Praise for The Ensemble 

"Aja Gabel's powerful debut offers a sensitive portrait of four young musicians forging their paths through life: sometimes at odds with each other, sometimes in harmony, but always inextricably linked by their shared pasts."—Celeste Ng

"With uncommon clarity and empathy, Aja Gabel brings us inside the passionate, complex, and sometimes cutthroat intimacy that exists among the four members of a string quartet. A wise and powerful novel about love, life, and music. I didn't want it to end." —Maggie Shipstead

"Aja Gabel is a brilliant young writer with the rare gift of an old soul."—Mat Johnson

Aja Gabel’s writing has appeared in BOMB, The Kenyon Review, Glimmer Train, and elsewhere. A former cellist, she earned her B.A. at Wesleyan University, her MFA at the University of Virginia and has a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. Aja has been the recipient of fellowships from the Sewanee Writers' Conference, Literary Arts Oregon, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where she was a fellow in fiction. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

Photo by Darcie Burrell

Maggie Shipstead is the New York Times-bestselling author of the novels Astonish Me and Seating Arrangements, which won the International Dylan Thomas Prize and the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, and a two-time National Magazine Award finalist for fiction. Her short stories, travel writing, essays, and criticism have appeared many places, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the GuardianCondé Nast TravelerTravel + Leisure, and the The Best American Short Stories

Event date: 
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
The Ensemble: A Novel By Aja Gabel Cover Image
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9780735214767
Published: Riverhead Books - May 15th, 2018

Seating Arrangements (Vintage Contemporaries) By Maggie Shipstead Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307743954
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 7th, 2013

Astonish Me (Vintage Contemporaries) By Maggie Shipstead Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345804617
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 6th, 2015