BookFest St. Louis 2018: Author Anne Valente comes home to talk about fierce fiction

From the September 19th article on St. Louis Magazine:

“Because I’m from St. Louis, Left Bank is one of my favorite bookstores of all time,” says Anne Valente, author of the 2016 novel Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down—set in St. Louis—and the forthcoming Utah, scheduled to be released next summer. When Valente heard last year about Left Bank Books and the Central West End Community Improvement District’s first-ever BookFest St. Louis, she was excited. But the author, who lives in upstate New York and teaches at Hamilton College, couldn’t make it to town for the first BookFest (“My family went, and they reported back,” she notes). For this year, however, she reached out to organizers to see if she could be a speaker—and got her wish.

On Saturday, September 22, Valente will speak as part of the Fresh Fierce Fiction panel at noon in the McPherson tent in the Central West End. She’ll be joined by short story writer Deborah Eisenberg, and novelists Rebecca Makkai and Lucy Jane Bledsoe as they talk about “writing something a bit edgier, a little heavier,” Valente says.

It’s a topic Valente knows. Her first novel centers on a fictional school shooting at fictional Lewis and Clark High School in St. Louis. It tracks how the survivors move on, and a series of fires that target the victims’ families. SLM caught up with Valente, and asked her what it’s like to write fiction around trauma, how her second book is different, and who she’s reading now.

Read the full article here.