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ELIZABETH McCRACKEN reads from her new novel BOWLAWAY with CYNTHIA D'APRIX SWEENEY

Bowlaway (Ecco Press)

A sweeping and enchanting new novel from the widely beloved, award-winning author Elizabeth McCracken about three generations of an unconventional New England family who own and operate a candlepin bowling alley.

From the day she is discovered unconscious in a New England cemetery at the turn of the twentieth century—nothing but a bowling ball, a candlepin, and fifteen pounds of gold on her person—Bertha Truitt is an enigma to everyone in Salford, Massachusetts. She has no past to speak of, or at least none she is willing to reveal, and her mysterious origin scandalizes and intrigues the townspeople, as does her choice to marry and start a family with Leviticus Sprague, the doctor who revived her. But Bertha is plucky, tenacious, and entrepreneurial, and the bowling alley she opens quickly becomes Salford’s most defining landmark—with Bertha its most notable resident.

When Bertha dies in a freak accident, her past resurfaces in the form of a heretofore-unheard-of son, who arrives in Salford claiming he is heir apparent to Truitt Alleys. Soon it becomes clear that, even in her death, Bertha’s defining spirit and the implications of her obfuscations live on, infecting and affecting future generations through inheritance battles, murky paternities, and hidden wills.

In a voice laced with insight and her signature sharp humor, Elizabeth McCracken has written an epic family saga set against the backdrop of twentieth-century America. Bowlaway is both a stunning feat of language and a brilliant unraveling of a family’s myths and secrets, its passions and betrayals, and the ties that bind and the rifts that divide.  

Elizabeth McCracken is the author of six books: Here’s Your Hat What’s Your HurryThe Giant’s House, Niagara Falls All Over AgainAn Exact Replica of a Figment of My ImaginationThunderstruck & Other Stories, and Bowlaway.  She’s received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Liguria Study Center, the American Academy in Berlin, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Thunderstruck & Other Stories won the 2015 Story Prize.

She has taught creative writing at Western Michigan University, the University of Oregon, the University of Houston, and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.  She holds the James A. Michener Chair in Fiction at the University of Texas, Austin. 

Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney is the New York Times bestselling author of The Nest, which has been translated into more than 25 languages and optioned for film by Amazon Studios with Jill Soloway producing. She has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children.

Event date: 
Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Bowlaway: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062862853
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - February 5th, 2019

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memoir Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316027663
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Back Bay Books - February 22nd, 2010

The Giant's House: A Romance Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780385340892
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - October 30th, 2007

Thunderstruck & Other Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812987676
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - August 18th, 2015

Here's Your Hat What's Your Hurry: Stories (Art of the Story) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062873729
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - February 5th, 2019

Niagara Falls All Over Again: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780385336482
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - November 26th, 2002

The American Child, by Elizabeth McCracken Cover Image
$17.50
ISBN: 9780649270415
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Trieste Publishing - May 17th, 2018

The Nest Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062414229
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - April 4th, 2017