Join SubText Books in the store on Friday, November 1st at 7:00 PM for a reading with Courtney Maum for her novel “Costalegre.” Maum will be in conversation with Sally Franson, author of “A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out.” Book signing to follow!
Sinuous and striking, heartbreaking and strange, Costalegre is heavily inspired by the real-life relationship between the heiress Peggy Guggenheim and her daughter, Pegeen. Acclaimed author Courtney Maum triumphs with this wildly imaginative and curiously touching story of a privileged teenager who has everything a girl could wish for except for a mother who loves her back.
It is 1937, and Europe is on the brink of war. In the haute-bohemian circles of Austria, Germany, and Paris, Hitler is circulating a most-wanted list of “cultural degenerates”―artists, writers, and thinkers whose work is deemed antithetical to the new regime. To prevent the destruction of her favorite art (and artists), the impetuous American heiress and modern art collector, Leonora Calaway, begins chartering boats and planes for an elite group of surrealists to Costalegre, a mysterious resort in the Mexican jungle, where she has a home.
The story of what happens to these artists when they reach their destination is told from the point of view of Lara, Leonora’s neglected 15-year-old daughter, who has been pulled out of school to follow her mother to Mexico. Forced from a young age to cohabit with her mother’s eccentric whims, tortured lovers, and entourage of gold-diggers, Lara suffers from emotional, educational, and geographical instability that a Mexican sojourn with surrealists isn’t going to help. But when she meets the outcast Dadaist sculptor Jack Klinger, a much older man who has already been living in Costalegre for some time, Lara thinks she might have found the love and understanding she so badly craves.
COURTNEY MAUM is the author of Touch (a New York Time editor's choice and NPR's Best of 2017), as well as the acclaimed I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You. Her book reviews, essays, and articles about the writing life have been widely published in outlets such as The New York Times, O the Oprah Magazine, BuzzFeed, Interview Magazine, and Electric Literature.
SALLY FRANSON is the author of A LADY'S GUIDE TO SELLING OUT, which was named a Minnesota Book Award finalist. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, NPR Weekend Edition, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Best American Travel Writing, and she reviews books regularly for the San Francisco Chronicle. A screen adaption of her novel is currently in development with Anonymous Content.