Kate Elizabeth Russell: My Dark Vanessa

Kate Elizabeth Russell returns to Lawrence to discuss her eagerly anticipated debut novel My Dark Vanessa. The Raven Book Store will have copies available for sale and signing.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Elizabeth Russell is originally from eastern Maine. She holds a PhD in creative writing from the University of Kansas and an MFA from Indiana University. Her work has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Mid-American Review, and Quarterly West, among other journals, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. This is her first novel.

Event date: 
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
Lawrence Public Library
707 Vermont Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
My Dark Vanessa: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062941503
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: William Morrow - March 10th, 2020

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’S BREAKOUT AUTHOR TO WATCH IN 2020

“Brilliant and stunning . . . an absolute must read.” – GILLIAN FLYNN

“A well-constructed package of dynamite.” – STEPHEN KING