Peter Orner in conversation with Isaac Fitzgerald at the Epicenter

August 6, 2013 - 7:00 PM

Hotel Rex
562 Sutter St.

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Litquake is proud to host the San Francisco launch of Peter Orner’s Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge at our Epicenter this August. This book is the long-awaited second short-story collection from a writer whose first was hailed as “one of the best of the last decade” (Kevin Brockmeier). Orner will be in conversation with Isaac Fitzgerald from McSweeney’s.

Peter Orner and Isaac Fitzgerald at the EpicenterIn this new collection, Orner zeroes in on the strange ways our memories define us: A woman’s husband dies before their divorce is finalized; a man runs for governor of Illinois and loses much more than an election; two brothers play beneath the infamous bridge at Chappaquiddick. Employing the masterful compression for which he’s become known, Orner presents a kaleidoscope of individual lives viewed in startling, intimate close-up. Whether writing of Geraldo Rivera’s attempt to reveal the contents of Al Capone’s vault or of a father and daughter trying to outrun a hurricane, he illuminates universal themes. In stories that span considerable geographic ground—from Chicago to Wyoming, from Massachusetts to the Czech Republic—he writes of the past we can’t seem to shake, the losses we can’t make up for, and how our stories help us reclaim what we thought was gone forever.

As he has written, “The difference between a short story and a novel is the difference between a pang in your heart and the tragedy of your whole life. Read a great story and there it is—right now—in your gut.”

About the Authors

Peter Orner is the author of three acclaimed books, Esther Stories, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, and Love and Shame and Love. Some of the stories in Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge first appeared in Conjunctions, McSweeney’s, Granta, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Bomb, A Public Space, and The Pushcart Prize XXXII. Born in Chicago, Orner now lives in San Francisco.

 Isaac Fitzgerald has been a firefighter, worked on a boat, and been given a sword by a king, thereby accomplishing three of his five childhood goals. He is co-owner of The Rumpus, and Director of Publicity at McSweeney’s.


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