Pasadena’s eleventh One City, One Story community reading celebration book selection is The Age of Miracles by author Karen Thompson Walker.
Luminous, haunting, unforgettable, The Age of Miracles is a stunning fiction debut by a superb new writer, a story about coming of age during extraordinary times, about people going on with their lives in an era of profound uncertainty.
On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.
“It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . . Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much.”
With spare, graceful prose and the emotional wisdom of a born storyteller, Thompson Walker has created a singular narrator in Julia, a resilient and insightful young girl, and a moving portrait of family life set against the backdrop of an utterly altered world.
Thompson Walker was born and raised in San Diego, California, where The Age of Miracles is set. She studied English and creative writing at UCLA, where she wrote for the UCLA Daily Bruin. After college, she worked as a newspaper reporter in the San Diego area before moving to New York City to attend the Columbia University MFA program.
A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, she wrote The Age of Miracles in the mornings before work – sometimes while riding the subway.
Thompson Walker is the recipient of the 2011 Sirenland Fellowship as well as a Bomb Magazine fiction prize. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.
One City, One Story activities and events will be scheduled for March 2013. A community dialogue with the author is scheduled for Thursday, March 14. Details of book discussion groups, film series, lectures and other events will be announced in the near future.
One City, One Story is designed to broaden and deepen an appreciation of reading and literature in the community. To engage participants in dialogue and bring Pasadenans together by promoting greater understanding of differing points of view.
For more information visit www.onecityonestory.com or call (626) 744-7270.