It's June 2012. The magical and slightly cultish River Run swim club is alive with the spirit of fun competition when a perfect storm brews between team moms and best friends, Gillian Cloud and Kristy Weinstein. The ghost of family addiction has turned up, looming over their carefully planned pasta parties, tie-dye nights, and pep rallies, forcing them to face their unresolved childhood trauma. Gillian responds by trying to control everyone around her, while Kristy relapses into her dangerous addiction to love. Real sparks fly on the night of the derecho--a freak land hurricane--which sweeps through Northern Virginia, knocking out power for days. The storm ignites a tinder box of secrets, leaving Gillian and Kristy alone in the hot dark--their shame their only company. At times humorous and devastating, Swimming with Ghosts is a hauntingly dark, yet uniquely tender story of the various entrapments of addiction and lingering trauma, and what it takes to overcome our hidden legacies of disgrace and discover a once unimaginable freedom made possible by confronting life's greatest storms with the people closest to us.
Michelle Brafman is the author of Bertrand Court: Stories and the novel Washing the Dead. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Slate, LitHub, The Forward, Tablet, and elsewhere. She teaches fiction writing in the Johns Hopkins University MA in Writing Program. www.michellebrafman.com.
Brafman will be in conversation with Bethanne Patrick. Patrick maintains a storied place in the publishing industry as a critic and as @TheBookMaven on Twitter, where she created the popular #FridayReads and regularly comments on books and literary ideas to over 200K followers. Her work appears frequently in the Los Angeles Times as well as at The Washington Post, NPR Books, and Literary Hub. She sits on the board of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and has served on the board of the National Book Critics Circle. She is the host of the Missing Pages podcast.
This event is free with first come, first served seating.