Anne Valente - Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down

Monday, October 17, 2016 - 6:00pm

About the book:

The lives of four teenagers are capsized by a shocking school shooting and its aftermath in this powerful debut novel, a coming-of-age story with the haunting power of Station Eleven and the bittersweet poignancy of Everything I Never Told You.

As members of the yearbook committee, Nick, Zola, Matt, and Christina are eager to capture all the memorable moments of their junior year at Lewis and Clark High School—the plays and football games, dances and fund-drives, teachers and classes that are the epicenter of their teenage lives. But how do you document a horrific tragedy—a deadly school shooting by a classmate?

Struggling to comprehend this cataclysmic event—and propelled by a sense of responsibility to the town, their parents, and their school—these four "lucky" survivors vow to honor the memories of those lost, and also, the memories forgotten in the shadow of violence. But the shooting is only the first inexplicable trauma to rock their small suburban St. Louis town. A series of mysterious house fires have hit the families of the victims one by one, pushing the grieving town to the edge.

Nick, the son of the lead detective investigating the events, plunges into the case on his own, scouring the Internet to uncover what could cause a fire with no evident starting point. As their friend pulls farther away, Matt and Christina battle to save damaged relationships, while Zola fights to keep herself together.

A story of grief, community, and family, of the search for understanding and normalcy in the wake of devastating loss, Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down explores profound questions about resiliency, memory, and recovery that brilliantly illuminate the deepest recesses of the human heart.

 

 

About the author:

Anne Valente’s debut novel, Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down, is forthcoming from William Morrow/HarperCollins in October 2016. Her first short story collection, By Light We Knew Our Names, won the Dzanc Books Short Story Prize and released in September 2014. She is also the author of the fiction chapbook, An Elegy for Mathematics.

Her fiction appears in One Story, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Ninth Letter and Hayden’s Ferry Review, among others, and won Copper Nickel’s 2012 Fiction Prize and a 2015 Nelson Algren Award Finalist Prize. She was the Georges and Anne Borchardt Scholar at the 2014 Sewanee Writers’ Conference and a featured author at the 2015 One Story Debutante Ball. Her work was selected as notable in Best American Non-Required Reading 2011 and her essays appear in The Believer and The Washington Post.

Originally from St. Louis, she is on faculty in the Creative Writing and Literature Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down: A Novel Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062429117
Availability: Available to Ship - Est. Delivery in 8-13 Business Days
Published: William Morrow - October 4th, 2016