Chee made a remarkable literary debut with his novel Edinburgh, which won the Whiting Award. His eagerly awaited encore has a cast including P.T. Barnum, Verdi, and George Sand, but stars his own creation, Lillet Berne. The only survivor of a Minnesota family wiped out by illness, the young woman takes a new name from a gravestone and heads to Europe. There, she intends to seek out her mother’s family, but in order to survive, successively joins a circus, becomes a courtesan, a spy, a Diva—then is brought up short by finding herself the heroine of a new libretto.
This event is part of the Politics & Prose and the PEN/Faulkner Foundation Contemporary Fiction Reading Series at Busboys and Poets.