Booksmith is thrilled to host Michelle Ruiz Keil again for her second novel, Summer in the City of Roses. She'll be in conversation with the one and only MK Chavez. Join us!
This event is free and all ages, but RSVP is required. Event link will be sent to everyone who registers.
You can order Summer in the City of Roses here and we'll ship it directly to you (or hold for pickup at our San Francisco shop).
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Inspired by the Greek myth of Iphigenia and the Grimm fairy tale "Brother and Sister," Michelle Ruiz Keil's second novel follows two siblings torn apart and struggling to find each other in early '90s Portland.
All her life, seventeen-year-old Iph has protected her sensitive younger brother, Orr. But this summer, with their mother gone at an artist residency, their father decides it’s time for fifteen-year-old Orr to toughen up at a wilderness boot camp. When their father brings Iph to a work gala in downtown Portland and breaks the news, Orr has already been sent away against his will. Furious at her father’s betrayal, Iph storms off and gets lost in the maze of Old Town. Enter George, a queer Robin Hood who swoops in on a bicycle, bow and arrow at the ready, offering Iph a place to hide out while she tracks down Orr.
Orr, in the meantime, has escaped the camp and fallen in with The Furies, an all-girl punk band, and moves into the coat closet of their ramshackle pink house. In their first summer apart, Iph and Orr must learn to navigate their respective new spaces of music, romance, and sex-work activism—and find each other before a fantastical transformation fractures their family forever.
Told through a lens of magical realism and steeped in myth, Summer in the City of Roses is a dazzling tale about the pain and beauty of growing up.
Michelle Ruiz Keil is a Latinx writer and tarot reader with an eye for the enchanted and a way with animals. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, All of Us With Wings, was called “a transcendent journey” by The New York Times. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Michelle has lived in Portland, Oregon, for many years. She curates the fairytale reading series All Kinds of Fur and lives with her family in a cottage where the forest meets the city.
MK Chavez is a Black Latinx writer and educator. She is the author of Dear Animal and several chapbooks. Chavez co-curates the reading series Lyrics & Dirges, is co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival, and poetry editor at Bronzeville Quarterly. She is a recipient of the PEN Oakland Award and the 2021 San Francisco Foundation/Nomadic Press literary award. You can find recent work at the Academy of Poets Poem-A-Day series and Golden Gate Park among the trees with the Voice of Trees projects.
This event is free and all ages, but RSVP is required.