Book launch for The House of Impossible Beauties

Please join us for an evening in celebration of Joseph Cassara's gorgeous debut novel The House of Impossible Beauties! Joseph will give a brief reading followed by a discussion with local favorite Rebecca Makkai and a book signing.

"Inspired in part by Jennie Livingston's celebrated documentary film Paris Is Burning (1991), Cassara's first novel dramatically re-creates the world of Harlem balls and the houses that revolve around them, focusing on the real-world House of Xtravaganza, the first Latino house in the ball scene. A fabulous queen named Angel is the mother of her three Xtravaganza children: teenagers Venus, a pre-op transsexual; Daniel, a butch gay; and Juanito, who wants to live like a man while he busily makes clothes for the other three. The two boys become lovers while Venus searches for a man who will love her and give her a home in the suburbs. It's the 1980s and early '90s in New York, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, which will figure largely in this often heartbreaking story of young people who support themselves by selling their bodies. Drugs, too, are part of the scene and will impact the lives of the three children. Cassara has done a superb job of reimagining a world that will be foreign and even exotic to many readers, while creating fully developed characters to populate it. The tone is singularly apposite. And although the text is sprinkled with Spanish words and phrases, they are generally understandable in context and add verisimilitude to a compassionate story, which is altogether moving and unforgettable." Booklist *starred review*


About Joseph Cassara:

Jospeh Cassara was born and raised in New Jersey. He holds degrees from Columbia University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been a writing fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The House of Impossible Beauties is his first novel.

About Rebecca Makkai:

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the short story collection Music For Wartime, which appeared in 2015, and of the novels The Hundred-Year House, winner of the Chicago Writers Association award, and The Borrower, a Booklist Top Ten Debut which has been translated into eight languages. Her short fiction won a 2017 Pushcart Prize, and was chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years (2008-2011). The recipient of a 2014 NEA fellowship, Makkai is on the MFA faculty at Sierra Nevada college and has taught at the Iowa Writers Workshop, Tin House, and Northwestern University. Her forthcoming novel The Great Believers will be published by Viking Press in June of 2018.

The House of Impossible Beauties: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062676979
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - February 6th, 2018

The Great Believers Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735223523
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Viking - June 19th, 2018

Event date: 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Event address: 

Unabridged Books, Inc.
Chicago, IL 60657
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