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EMILY GOULD and RUFI THORPE read from their new novels PERFECT TUNES and THE KNOCKOUT QUEEN with STEPHANIE DANLER

Perfect Tunes (Avid Reader Press)

It’s the early days of the new millennium, and Laura has arrived in New York City’s East Village with the hopes of recording her first album. A songwriter with a one-of-a-kind talent, she’s just beginning to book gigs when she falls hard for Dylan, a troubled but magnetic musician whose star is on the rise. Their time together is stormy and short-lived— Dylan dies a few months into their relationship—but will reverberate for the
rest of Laura’s life.

Flash forward fourteen years: Laura’s daughter, Marie, is asking questions about the father she never knew, questions that Laura does not want to answer. Laura has built a quiet life that bears little
resemblance to the one she envisioned when she left Ohio all those years ago, and she’s taken pains to close the door on what was and what might have been. But Marie won’t let her, and when she attempts to track down Dylan’s family, both mother and daughter are forced to confront the heartbreak at the root of their relationship.

Funny, wise, and utterly immersive, Perfect Tunes explores the fault lines between parents and children, and asks whether dreams deferred can ever be reclaimed.

Praise for Perfect Tunes:

Perfect Tunes is a zippy and profound story of love, loss, heredity, and parenthood. I gulped it down, as will all mothers, New Yorkers, music fans, and lovers of quick-moving novels that are both funny and deep. I loved every page.” —EMMA STRAUB

Perfect Tunes is an intoxicating blend of music, love, and family from one of the essential writers of the internet generation.” —STEPHANIE DANLER

Perfect Tunes is mind-blowing...Full of unspeakable insights, or at least I thought they were unspeakable, but there they are. Now I want everyone I know to read this book and talk about it with me.” —ELIF BATUMAN

Emily Gould is the author of the novel Friendship and the essay collection And the Heart Says Whatever. With Ruth Curry, she runs Emily Books, which publishes books by women as an imprint of Coffee House Press. She rose to prominence at Gawker in its early years and has written for the New York Times, New York, The New Yorker, Bookforum, and many other publications.

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The Knockout Queen (Knopf)

Bunny Lampert is the princess of North Shore⁠--beautiful, tall, blond, with a rich real-estate-developer father and a swimming pool in her backyard. Michael⁠--with a ponytail down his back and a septum piercing⁠--lives with his aunt in the cramped stucco cottage next door. When Bunny catches Michael smoking in her yard, he discovers that her life is not as perfect as it seems. At six foot three, Bunny towers over their classmates. Even as she dreams of standing out and competing in the Olympics, she is desperate to fit in, to seem normal, and to get a boyfriend, all while hiding her father's escalating alcoholism. Michael has secrets of his own. At home and at school Michael pretends to be straight, but at night he tries to understand himself by meeting men online for anonymous encounters that both thrill and scare him. When Michael falls in love for the first time, a vicious strain of gossip circulates and a terrible, brutal act becomes the defining feature of both his and Bunny's futures⁠--and of their friendship. With storytelling as intoxicating as it is intelligent, Rufi Thorpe has created a tragic and unflinching portrait of identity, a fascinating examination of our struggles to exist in our bodies, and an excruciatingly beautiful story of two humans aching for connection.

Praise for The Knockout Queen:

"Brilliantly constructed and beautifully told, threaded with heartbreak, honesty and hope . . . a sublime coming-of-age story, and Rufi Thorpe is a national treasure." ⁠--Cynthia Sweeney, best-selling author of The Nest

“Fearless, tender, and savagely alive, The Knockout Queen is unlike anything you’ll read this year. Rufi Thorpe’s third novel is about unruly thoughts and unruly bodies, about violence and love, about doing the wrong thing for the right reasons and the drag of human being. You won’t be able to look away. You might even recognize yourself.” Chloe Benjamin, best-selling author of The Immortalists 

The Knockout Queen is an intense, unflinching examination of friendship, the threads that connect us in such strange ways. Rufi Thorpe navigates this difficult terrain thanks to a masterful use of detail and a wonderfully dark sense of humor that lands at just the right moment. Michael and Bunny are two of the most unique characters I’ve ever met, drawn with such precision that it’s impossible to leave them behind. This is a hypnotic, beautiful novel, and Rufi Thorpe is an unbelievably unique talent.” Kevin Wilson, best-selling author of The Family Fang

“Rufi Thorpe writes with a savage, clear-eyed calm that is frighteningly good. The Knockout Queen unsettled me in the most delicious way with its complex and satisfying relationships and meditation on violence, beauty, and privilege. Read it!!” Jade Chang, author of The Wangs vs. the World

The Knockout Queen is the best book I’ve read in months! Its one-of-a-kind narrator is funny, vulnerable, brilliant, and brimming with longing, and the story he tells distills the pain and beauty of a life-changing friendship like nothing else I’ve read before. This book’s got guts and heart, and wisdom for days, and I could not put it down. Rufi Thorpe is one of the most exciting novelists working today. This novel is truly exceptional. I loved it.” Edan Lepucki, best-selling author of California and Woman No. 17

“I loved The Knockout Queen. A blistering, brilliant look at friendship and violence, suburbia and class, all told by one of the most observant, engaging narrators I’ve read in a very long time. This book is going to stay with me.” Grant Ginder, author of Honestly, We Meant Well and The People We Hate at the Wedding 

“Is it cheesy to say The Knockout Queen knocked me off my feet? I couldn’t put it down, and when I had to, I did so only reluctantly, shakily. With unrelenting humor and terrifying intelligence, Rufi Thorpe tells the story of an unlikely high school friendship—the kind of friendship from which you never recover—with intensity and attentiveness. This captivating, generous book is a moving examination on human motivation, darkness, and love—calling attention to the ways we can be deeply different, and yet so much the same.” Rachel Khong, author of Goodbye, Vitamin

Rufi Thorpe received her MFA from the University of Virginia in 2009. Her first novel, The Girls from Corona del Mar, was long listed for the 2014 International Dylan Thomas Prize and for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. Her second novel, Dear Fang, With Love, was published by Knopf in May 2016. She lives in California with her husband and two sons.

Author Photo by Nina Subin

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Stephanie Danler is the author of the international bestseller Sweetbitter. She is the creator, writer and executive producer of the Sweetbitter television series on STARZ. She splits her time between New York City and Los Angeles, and is at work on a book of non-fiction.

Event date: 
Sunday, April 26, 2020 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Pre-Order Now Badge
Perfect Tunes Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501197499
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - April 14th, 2020

Friendship: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250070487
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Published: Picador - July 7th, 2015

And the Heart Says Whatever Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781439123898
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Published: Free Press - May 4th, 2010

Sweetbitter (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781101911860
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Published: Vintage - April 4th, 2017

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The Knockout Queen: A novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780525656784
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Published: Knopf - April 28th, 2020

Dear Fang, with Love: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781101911570
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Published: Vintage - April 18th, 2017

The Girls from Corona del Mar (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780804170079
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Published: Vintage - June 9th, 2015