MICHELLE HUNEVEN reads from OFF COURSE, in conversation with MONA SIMPSON

Off Course (Sarah Crichton Books)

Skylight Books is proud to welcome two legendary authors for one legendary evening.

"A bear climbs onto a cabin's deck, presses his nose to the sliding door. Inside, a young woman stands to face him. She comes closer, and closer yet, until only the glass stands between them . . ."

The year is 1981, Reagan is in the White House, and the country is stalled in a recession. Cressida Hartley, a gifted Ph.D. student in economics, moves into her parents' shabby A-frame cabin in the Sierras to write her dissertation. In her most intimate and emotionally compelling novel to date, Michelle Huneven--author of Blame, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award--returns with her signature mix of fine-grained storytelling, unforgettable characters, and moral complexity. Cress, increasingly resistant to her topic (art in the marketplace), allows herself to be drawn into the social life of the small mountain community.

The exuberant local lodge owner, Jakey Yates, with his big personality and great animal magnetism, is the first to blur Cress's focus. The builder Rick Garsh gives her a job driving up and down the mountain for supplies. And then there are the two Morrow brothers, skilled carpenters, who are witty, intriguing, and married. As Cress tells her best friend back home in Pasadena, being a single woman on the mountain amounts to a form of public service. Falling prey to her own perilous reasoning, she soon finds herself in dark new territory, subject to forces beyond her control from both within and without. In Off Course, Huneven introduces us to an intelligent young woman who discovers that love is the great distraction, and impossible love the greatest distraction of all.

Praise for Michelle Huneven

"Huneven's prose moves like a hummingbird, in small bursts that are improbably fast and graceful."--Maria Russo, "The New York Times Book Review"

"Michelle Huneven is a writer of extraordinary and thrilling talent..."--Richard Russo

"Generosity, humor and tolerance shine in Huneven's writing."--Michael Harris, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Like that other West Coast chronicler of struggling Americans, Raymond Carver, . . . Huneven is not interested in literary pretension or postmodern razzle-dazzle, but in achieving a measure of truth-- and her generous, engaging novel does just that."--Valerie Sayers, "The New York Times Book Review"

Michelle Huneven is the author of three previous novels—Blame, Jamesland, and Round Rock. Her nonfiction writing includes restaurant reviews for the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Weekly, other food journalism, and, with Bernadette Murphy, The Tao Gals Guide to Real Estate. She has received a General Electric Foundation Award for Younger Writers and a Whiting Writers’ Award for fiction. Huneven lives in Altadena, California, with her husband, Jim Potter.

Mona Simpson’s novels include My Hollywood, A Regular Guy, Off Keck Road, The Lost Father and Anywhere But Here. Her books have won the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize, the Whiting Writer’s Award and placed as finalist for the PEN/FAULKNER award. She has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University and a Lila Wallace Prize. Most recently, she was the recipient of a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and letters. Her short fiction has been published in Granta, Harpers, The Atlantic, McSweeney’s and The Paris Review. Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, she lives in Santa Monica, California. Her new novel, Casebook, is on sale from Knopf in April, 2014.

Michelle Huneven photo by Karen Tapia

Mona Simpson photo by Gaspar Tringale

Event date: 
Monday, May 12, 2014 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
90027 Los Angeles
Off Course: A Novel Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780374224479
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Sarah Crichton Books - April 1st, 2014

Blame: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312429850
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - May 25th, 2010

Jamesland (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375713132
Availability: Special Order
Published: Vintage - September 14th, 2004

Round Rock (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679776161
Availability: Special Order
Published: Vintage - September 1st, 1998

Casebook: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385351416
Availability: Special Order
Published: Knopf - April 15th, 2014

Anywhere but Here (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679737384
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Vintage - January 15th, 1992

My Hollywood (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307475022
Availability: Special Order
Published: Vintage - August 9th, 2011

Off Keck Road: A Novella (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375709067
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Vintage - September 11th, 2001