An Evening with MARISA CRANE and JENNIFER SAVRAN KELLY
A Room of One's Own is thrilled to welcome Marisa Crane and Jennifer Savran Kelly for a joint conversation on their debut novels I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself and Endpapers.
This is a virtual event via Crowdcast
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About I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself
In a United States not so unlike our own, the Department of Balance has adopted a radical new form of law enforcement: rather than incarceration, wrongdoers are given a second (and sometimes, third, fourth, and fifth) shadow as a reminder of their crime—and a warning to those they encounter. Within the Department, corruption and prejudice run rampant, giving rise to an underclass of so-called Shadesters who are disenfranchised, publicly shamed, and deprived of civil rights protections.
Kris is a Shadester and a new mother to a baby born with a second shadow of her own. Grieving the loss of her wife and thoroughly unprepared for the reality of raising a child alone, Kris teeters on the edge of collapse, fumbling in a daze of alcohol, shame, and self-loathing. Yet as the kid grows, Kris finds her footing, raising a child whose irrepressible spark cannot be dampened by the harsh realities of the world. She can’t forget her wife, but with time, she can make a new life for herself and the kid, supported by a community of fellow misfits who defy the Department to lift one another up in solidarity and hope.
Dawn is six weeks away from her major gallery debut and has no art to show yet. But one day at work, she discovers something hidden under the endpapers of an old book: the torn-off cover of a lesbian pulp novel from the 1950s, with an illustration of a woman looking into a mirror and seeing a man’s face. Even more intriguing is the illicit queer love letter written on the back. She immediately becomes obsessed with tracking down the letter’s author, and her fixation only increases when her best friend, Jae, is injured in a hate crime for which she feels responsible. Feeling trapped by her gender representation, her ill-fitting relationship, and her artistic block, Dawn is desperately trying to figure out how to live in a world that doesn’t seem to have a place for her, and she can’t shake the feeling that the letter’s author might be able to guide her to the answers.
Jennifer Savran Kelly lives in Ithaca, New York, where she writes, binds books, and works as a production editor at Cornell University Press. Her debut novel Endpapers won a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Foundation and was selected as a finalist for the SFWP Literary Awards Program and the James Jones First Novel Fellowship. Her short work has been published in Potomac Review, Hobart, Black Warrior Review, Trampset, and elsewhere.
Marisa Crane is a writer, basketball player, and sweatpants enthusiast. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Joyland, No Tokens, TriQuarterly, Passages North, Florida Review, Catapult, Lit Hub, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. An attendee of the Tin House Workshop and Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, they currently live in San Diego with their wife and child. I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself is their first novel