Avid Reader is happy to be in partnership with Stories on Stage to bring two new authors to you, Michael David Lukas and Valerie Fioravanti on Saturday, October 13th. Doors open at 7 p.m. and donations are always appreciated, as they help pay authors and actors alike!
To learn more about Stories on Stage please click here.
The two novels being presented are:
The Last Watchman of Old Cairo
by Michael David Lukas
An in progress collection titled Bridge & Tunnel
by Valerie Fioravanti,
author of Garbage Night at the Opera
More on The Last Watcman of Old Cairo:
A spellbinding journey from California to Cairo to unravel centuries-old family secrets, this captivating novel explores fathers and sons, and the power of the stories we inherit, from the author of the award-winning bestseller The Oracle of Stamboul.
Joseph, a literature student at Berkeley, is the son of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. One day, a mysterious package arrives on his doorstep, pulling him into a mesmerizing adventure to uncover the tangled history that binds the two sides of his family. For generations, the men of the al-Raqb family have served as watchmen of the storied Ibn Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo, built at the site where the infant Moses was taken from the Nile. Joseph learns of his ancestor, Ali, a Muslim orphan who, nearly a thousand years earlier, was entrusted as the first watchman of the synagogue and became enchanted by its legendary—perhaps magical—Ezra Scroll. The story of Joseph’s family is entwined with that of the British twin sisters Agnes and Margaret, who in 1897 depart their hallowed Cambridge halls on a mission to rescue sacred texts that have begun to disappear from the synagogue.
The Last Watchman of Old Cairo is a moving page-turner of a novel from an acclaimed storyteller. This tightly woven multigenerational tale illuminates the tensions that have torn communities apart, and the unlikely forces—potent magic, forbidden love—that boldly attempt to bridge that divide.
Morre about Michael David Lukas:
Michael David Lukas has been a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey, a night-shift proofreader in Tel Aviv, a student at the American University of Cairo, and a waiter at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont. Translated into more than a dozen languages, his first novel The Oracle of Stamboul was a finalist for the California Book Award, the NCIBA Book of the Year Award, and the Harold U. Ribalow Prize. His second novel, The Last Watchman of Old Cairo, was recently published by Spiegel & Grau. A graduate of Brown University and the University of Maryland, he is a recipient of scholarships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Montalvo Arts Center, New York State Summer Writers’ Institute, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and Elizabeth George Foundation. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Slate, National Geographic Traveler, and Georgia Review. He lives in Oakland and teaches at San Francisco State University.
Photo credit: Irene Young
Valerie Fioravanti will be discussing and presenting from an in progress collection by the name of Bridge & Tunnel.
Her novel Garbage Night at the Opera will be avalaible for purchase during the event!
More on Garbage Night at the Opera:
The linked stories in Garbage Night at the Opera depict an extended Italian-American family living collectively in one apartment building in Brooklyn, New York, across decades as their neighborhood suddenly loses the factory jobs that support it, languishes for a generation, then gentrifies.
"Garbage Night at the Opera is among the most accomplished and emotionally resonant story collections I have read in years", writes fiction writer Peter Orner. Novelist Kevin McIlvoy writes, "These interrelated stories are a group of small, intense fires that form a large-scale conflagration. Fioravanti's working-class characters try to reverse the spell of hopelessness they have been cast under by family members or by lovers or by the broken promises of Brooklyn."
More about Valerie Fioravanti:
A native of New York City, Valerie Fioravanti now lives in Sacramento, California, where she directs the Stories on Stage reading series, and teaches for the UCLA Writers' Extension. She has held a Fulbright fellowship to Italy and holds degrees from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, and the New School in New York City. Her work has appeared in such publications as North American Review, Cimarron Review, and Hunger Mountain. Garbage Night at the Opera, the title story of which received a special mention in Pushcart Prize XXVIII, is her first book.