The Lost City of Dreams
in conversation with Michelle Cameron, The Fruit of Her Hands
Thursday, May 16, 7pm
A post-mortem photographer unearths dark secrets of the past that may hold the key to his future,
in this captivating debut novel in the gothic tradition of Wuthering Heights and The Thirteenth Tale.
All love stories are ghost stories in disguise. When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is discovered dead of a heart attack in his bath one morning, his cousin Robert Highstead, a historian turned post-mortem photographer, is charged with a simple task: transport Hugh's remains for burial in a chapel. This chapel, a stained glass folly set on the moors of Shropshire, was built by de Bonne sixteen years earlier to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. Since then, the chapel has been locked and abandoned, a pilgrimage site for the rabid fans of de Bonne's last book, The Lost History of Dreams. However, Ada's grief-stricken niece refuses to open the glass chapel for Robert unless he agrees to her bargain: before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record Isabelle's story of Ada and Hugh's ill-fated marriage over the course of five nights. As the mystery of Ada and Hugh's relationship unfolds, so does the secret behind Robert's own marriage--including that of his fragile wife, Sida, who has not been the same since the tragic accident three years ago, and the origins of his own morbid profession that has him seeing things he shouldn't--things from beyond the grave. Kris Waldherr effortlessly spins a sweeping and atmospheric gothic mystery about love and loss that blurs the line between the past and the present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death.
Kris Waldherr, also the author of The Goddess Deck and Tarot Book, will reveal how she works with tarot cards to fuel her writing process. Cards will be available as well.
Kris Waldherr is an award-winning author, illustrator, and designer. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, and her fiction has been awarded with fellowships by the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts and a reading grant by Poets & Writers. Kris Waldherr works and lives in Brooklyn in a Victorian-era house with her husband, the anthropologist-curator Thomas Ross Miller, and their young daughter.
Michelle Cameron, author of The Fruit of her Hands: The Story of Shira of Ashkenaz, will interview Kris Waldherr, Her book is based on the life of the author's thirteenth-century ancestor, Meir ben Baruch of Rothenberg, a renowed Jewish scholar of medieval Europe, this is the richly dramatic fictional story of Rabbi Meir's wife, Shira, a devout but rebellious woman who preserves her religious traditions as she and her family witness the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. Michelle Cameron lived in Israel for fourteen years and served in the Israeli army. She works for an interactive media company and lives in Chatham, NJ with her husband and two sons.
Kris Waldherr, The Lost History of Dreams