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CHLOE ARIDJIS reads from her new novel SEA MONSTERS with MERRITT TIERCE

Sea Monsters (Catapult)

Pulsing to the soundtrack of Joy Division, Nick Cave, and Siouxsie and the Banshees, Sea Monsters offers an intoxicating portrait of Mexico in the late 1980s.

One autumn afternoon in Mexico City, seventeen-year-old Luisa does not return home from school. Instead, she boards a bus to the Pacific coast with Tomás, a boy she barely knows. He seems to represent everything her life is lacking--recklessness, impulse, independence.

Tomás may also help Luisa fulfill an unusual obsession: she wants to track down a traveling troupe of Ukrainian dwarfs. According to newspaper reports, the dwarfs recently escaped a Soviet circus touring Mexico. The imagined fates of these performers fill Luisa's surreal dreams as she settles in a beach community in Oaxaca. Surrounded by hippies, nudists, beachcombers, and eccentric storytellers, Luisa searches for someone, anyone, who will "promise, no matter what, to remain a mystery." It is a quest more easily envisioned than accomplished. As she wanders the shoreline and visits the local bar, Luisa begins to disappear dangerously into the lives of strangers on Zipolite, the "Beach of the Dead."

Meanwhile, her father has set out to find his missing daughter. A mesmeric portrait of transgression and disenchantment unfolds. Sea Monstersis a brilliantly playful and supple novel about the moments and mysteries that shape us.

Chloe Aridjis is a Mexican-American writer who was born in New York and grew up in the Netherlands and Mexico. After completing her Ph.D. at the University of Oxford in nineteenth-century French poetry and magic shows, she lived for nearly six years in Berlin. Her debut novel, Book of Clouds, has been published in eight languages and won the Prix du Premier Roman Étranger in France. Aridjis sometimes writes about art and insomnia and was a guest curator at Tate Liverpool. In 2014, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in London.

Photo by Homero Aridjis

Merritt Tierce was born and raised in Texas, graduated from college at 19, and waited tables for ten years while working as an abortion rights activist with the Texas Equal Access Fund. After earning an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop she received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award in 2011, and was a 2013 National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" Author. Doubleday published her debut novel LOVE ME BACK in 2014 to great acclaim; she has most recently written for the Netflix show Orange is the New Black. She lives in Los Angeles.

Event date: 
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Sea Monsters Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9781936787869
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - February 5th, 2019

Book of Clouds Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780802170569
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press, Black Cat - March 1st, 2009

Asunder Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780544003460
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - September 17th, 2013

Love Me Back Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780345807137
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - June 9th, 2015