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An evening with Kendra Atleework (Miracle Country) and Alia Volz (Home Baked)

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Booksmith and The Bindery host a virtual event with Kendra Atleework (Miracle Country: A Memoir) and Alia Volz (Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco) in conversation about their new books.

This event is free and all ages, but RSVP is required.


About Miracle Country

Kendra Atleework grew up in Swall Meadows, in the Owens Valley of the Eastern Sierra Nevada, where annual rainfall averages five inches and in drought years measures closer to zero.

Kendra’s parents taught their children to thrive in this beautiful, if harsh, landscape, prone to wildfires, blizzards, and gale-force winds. Above all, they were raised on unconditional love and delight in the natural world. After Kendra’s mother died of a rare autoimmune disease when Kendra was just sixteen, however, her once beloved desert world came to feel empty and hostile, as climate change, drought, and wildfires intensified. The Atleework family fell apart, even as her father tried to keep them together. Kendra escaped to Los Angeles, and then Minneapolis, land of tall trees, full lakes, water everywhere you look. 

But after years of avoiding her troubled hometown, she realized that she needed to come to terms with its past and present and had to go back. Miracle Country is a moving and unforgettable memoir of flight and return, emptiness and bounty, the realities of a harsh and changing climate, and the true meaning of home. For readers of Cheryl Strayed, Terry Tempest Williams, and Rebecca Solnit, this is a breathtaking debut by a remarkable writer.  

Kendra Atleework is the recipient of the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award and was selected for The Best American Essays, edited by Ariel Levy. She received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota and now lives in Bishop, California. 


To have Miracle Country sent to your door, order here.


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About Home Baked


During the '70s in San Francisco, Alia's mother ran the underground Sticky Fingers Brownies, delivering upwards of 10,000 illegal marijuana edibles per month throughout the circus-like atmosphere of a city in the throes of major change. She exchanged psychic readings with Alia's future father, and thereafter had a partner in business and life.

Decades before cannabusiness went mainstream, when marijuana was as illicit as heroin, they ingeniously hid themselves in plain sight, parading through town—and through the scenes and upheavals of the day, from Gay Liberation to the tragedy of the Peoples Temple—in bright and elaborate outfits, the goods wrapped in hand-designed packaging and tucked into Alia's stroller. But the stars were not aligned forever and, after leaving the city and a shoulda-seen-it-coming divorce, Alia and her mom returned to San Francisco in the mid-80s, this time using Sticky Fingers' distribution channels to provide medical marijuana to friends and former customers now suffering the depredations of AIDS.

Exhilarating, laugh-out-loud funny, and heartbreaking, Home Baked celebrates an eccentric and remarkable extended family, taking us through love, loss, and finding home.

Alia Volz is the author of Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020). Her work has appeared in The Best American Essays, The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Salon, Guernica, and many other publications. Her unusual family story has been featured on Snap JudgmentCriminal and NPR’s Fresh Air.


To have Home Baked sent to your door, order here.


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This event is free and open to all ages, but RSVP is required.


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