VIRTUAL FICTION READING with Peter Geye and Diane Zinna
October 27 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Join Write On for a trip to Scandinavia via two amazing new novels
A READING AND CONVERSATION WITH NOVELISTS PETER GEYE AND DIANE ZINNA
When COVID caused our Writing on the Door: Fiction Writing Conference to be cancelled, we were disappointed for many reasons. Among the talent scheduled to appear were novelists Peter Geye and Diane Zinna, who both had books released late this summer. Geye’s novel, Northernmost, alternates between Norway and Minnesota. Zinna’s The All-Night Sun similarly alternates between Sweden and Washington, DC. While we had hoped to have an event celebrating Door County’s Scandinavian heritage and these two novels during the weekend of the conference, we are thrilled to present these two talented and generous writers in a reading and conversation. And, who knows, there may be a few Nordic surprises to the evening!
This program is presented free, goodwill donations accepted. At the request of the authors, all proceeds will support programs at Write On, Door County. To register online for the event, please click the button below. For other registration options, please call 920.868.1457. The program will be presented live via Zoom webinar.
Peter Geye received his MFA from the University of New Orleans and his PhD from Western Michigan University, where he was editor of Third Coast. Geye is the author of the award winning novels, Safe from the Sea, The Lighthouse Road, and Wintering, winner of the Minnesota Book Award. He currently teaches the year-long Novel Writing Project at the Loft Literary Center. Born and raised in Minneapolis, he continues to live there with his family.
Diane Zinna is originally from Long Island, New York. She received her MFA from the University of Florida and went on to teach creative writing for ten years. She was formerly the executive co-director at AWP, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, which hosts the largest literary conference in North America each year. In 2014, Diane created the Writer to Writer Mentorship Program, helping to match more than six hundred writers over twelve seasons. The All-Night Sun, her first novel, was recently longlisted for The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. Diane lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with her husband and daughter.
In 1897 Norway, Odd Einar Eide returns home from a near-death experience in the arctic only to discover his funeral in full effect. His wife Inger, stunned to see him alive, is slow to warm back up to him, having spent many sleepless nights convinced she had lost both him and their daughter, Thea, who traveled to America two years before and has not sent even one letter back. But just as they are reconnecting, a sensationalist journalist gets wind of Odd Einar’s remarkable tale of survival and invites them to Tromsø so he can properly report on what he is sure will be a bestselling story, complicating Odd Einar and Inger’s reunion further.
In 2017 Minnesota, Greta Nansen has finally begun to admit to herself that her marriage is over. Desperately unhappy and unfulfilled, she makes the decision to leave her children at home with her father and follow her husband, the descendant himself of Norway’s most famous explorer, to Oslo, where he has traveled for work, to end it once and for all. But on impulse she diverts her travels to Hammerfest, the town of her ancestors, the town where her great-great grandmother Thea was born, for reasons unbeknownst to even her.
A dual narrative told by two family members generations apart, Northernmost both confronts the darkest recesses of the human heart and celebrates the remarkable ability for humans survive nearly unimaginable trials.
“Rich in history, adventure, and love. . . . Geye understands the fine balance between who are born to be and how we birth ourselves across the seasons of our lives.”
— Kao Kalia Yang, author of The Song Poet
“Peter Geye has written a tremendously satisfying family saga about the tenacity of love amid the unpredictable, ungovernable forces that act on our lives.”
— Maggie Shipstead, author of Astonish Me
“Peter Geye may well be the William Faulkner of the North Country”
— William Kent Krueger, author of This Tender Land
ABOUT THE ALL-NIGHT SUN
Lauren Cress teaches writing at a small college outside of Washington, DC. In the classroom, she is poised, smart, and kind, well-liked by her students and colleagues. But in her personal life, Lauren is troubled and isolated, still grappling with the sudden death of her parents ten years earlier. She seems to exist at a remove from everyone around her until a new student joins her class: charming, magnetic Siri, who appears to be everything Lauren wishes she could be. They fall headlong into an all-consuming friendship that feels to Lauren like she is reclaiming her lost adolescence.
When Siri invites her along on a trip home to Sweden for the summer, Lauren impulsively accepts, intrigued by how Siri describes it: “Everything will be green, fresh, new, just thawing out.” But once there, Lauren finds herself drawn to Siri’s enigmatic, brooding brother Magnus. Siri is resentful, and Lauren starts to see a new side of her friend: selfish, reckless, self-destructive, even cruel. On the last night of her trip, Lauren accompanies Siri and her friends on a seaside camping trip to celebrate Midsommar’s Eve, a night when no one sleeps, boundaries blur, and under the light of the unsetting sun, things take a dark turn.
Ultimately Lauren must acknowledge the truth of what happened with Siri and come to terms with her own tragic past in this gorgeously written, deeply felt debut about the transformative relationships that often come to us when things feel darkest.
“Diane Zinna’s The All-Night Sun is an unexpected love story–about rebirth after loss, about the human connections that art and literature enable, about the adventures we undertake and the tales we tell ourselves to get by. It’s also about risk and sorrow, about how our stories can fatefully mask reality. This is a memorable and meaningful novel.”
—Claire Messud, New York Times bestselling author of The Burning Girl
“Diane Zinna carves her sentences on the page. This book is compulsively readable because no scene or paragraph goes to waste; each nuance of thought and feeling gets traced with generous intensity. Zinna renders all the vivid saturations of grief, but not just that: She also traces the complicated fretwork of young friendship. This book shows how coming-of-age and elegy can be the same story.”
—Emily Fridlund, Author of the Booker Prize Finalist History of Wolves
“The All-Night Sun illuminates the unwieldy paths the human mind will follow when chased by grief, loneliness, and the failure of memory. In lyrical, dreamlike prose, Diane Zinna’s mångata leads her characters from profound loss to the promise of wounds healed. An impressive debut by a gifted writer.”
—Chris Cander, Author of The Weight of a Piano