Juliet Grames based her debut novel, The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna* (Ecco), on her own family history. It’s a multi-generational story about Calabrese sisters who leave Italy for the United States on the eve of World War II. The title character is frustrated on both sides of the Atlantic, bound in both countries by societal codes insisting that women mean nothing until they become wives and mothers. As the book opens, though, it’s her sister Tina that she’s most upset with. Grames is a publishing veteran who curates the Soho Crime series, though this is a very different type of novel, a family epic with some magical realist twists.
* You can buy the book at the reading, of course, but IndieBound affiliate links mean you’re supporting local bookstores AND your local independent culture writer.