Meg Cannistra in conversation with Alicia Williams

The Trouble with Shooting Stars:

Wonder meets Mary Poppins in this heartfelt debut novel about magic, healing, and the importance of family.

Twelve-year-old Luna loves the nighttime more than anything else. It’s when no one gives her “that look” about the half mask she has to wear while healing from a disfiguring car accident. It’s also the perfect time to sit outside and draw what she sees. Like the boy and girl from the new family next door…zipping out of the window in a zeppelin and up to the stars.

At first she thinks she’s dreaming. But one night they catch her watching. Now Luna spends her nights on adventures with them, as they clean full moons, arrange constellations, and catch jars of stardust. She even gets to make a wish on a shooting star they catch.

But Luna learns that no wish is strong enough to erase the past—as much as she may hope to.

Meg Cannistra grew up in Sarasota, Florida, where she spent her childhood chasing after older sisters and cousins and learning how to cook. After living in New York City and north New Jersey for a few years, Meg now resides with her two cats, Gloom and Doom, in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has a BA in English literature from Flagler College and an MFA in creative writing from Hamline University. When she’s not taking pictures of her cats or wandering around grocery stores, she writes magical, mysterious, and sometimes scary stories. The Trouble with Shooting Stars is her debut novel. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @MegCannistra and learn more about her books at her website.

 

GENESIS BEGINS AGAIN:

There are ninety-six things Genesis hates about herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list. Like #95: Because her skin is so dark, people call her charcoal and eggplant—even her own family. And #61: Because her family is always being put out of their house, belongings laid out on the sidewalk for the world to see. When your dad is a gambling addict and loses the rent money every month, eviction is a regular occurrence.

What’s not so regular is that this time they all don’t have a place to crash, so Genesis and her mom have to stay with her grandma. It’s not that Genesis doesn’t like her grandma, but she and Mom always fight—Grandma haranguing Mom to leave Dad, that she should have gone back to school, that if she’d married a lighter skinned man none of this would be happening, and on and on and on. But things aren’t all bad. Genesis actually likes her new school; she’s made a couple of friends, her choir teacher says she has real talent, and she even encourages Genesis to join the talent show.

But how can Genesis believe anything her teacher says when her dad tells her the exact opposite? How can she stand up in front of all those people with her dark, dark skin knowing even her own family thinks lesser of her because of it? Why, why, why won’t the lemon or yogurt or fancy creams lighten her skin like they’re supposed to? And when Genesis reaches #100 on the list of things she hates about herself, will she continue on, or can she find the strength to begin again?

Alicia Williams is a graduate of the MFA program at Hamline University. An oral storyteller in the African American tradition, she is also a teacher who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Genesis Begins Again is her debut novel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Event date: 
Sunday, August 25, 2019 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
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