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Isa Arsén, Shoot the Moon
Isa Arsén, Shoot the Moon

Sun, Oct 22


Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse

Isa Arsén, Shoot the Moon

“Utterly original and overflowing with love in its purest form, Shoot the Moon is a one-of-a-kind journey through space, time and history.” —Kristin Harmel, author of The Paris Daughter

Date, Time & Location

Oct 22, 2023, 4:00 PM MDT

Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 202 Galisteo St, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA

About the Event

This will be an in-store event and will be live streamed to Zoom, register here for Zoom.

Copies of Shoot the Moon ($28, hardcover) can be purchased online from CW here or by calling the store to order (505) 988-4226. Signed copies will be available after the event.

From the hot, dry summers of New Mexico in the 1940s to the bustling hallways of NASA in the 1960s, Arsén’s moving and ambitious debut follows a brilliant but lonely NASA secretary and her relentless drive to live a big life in a world that would keep her small. For readers of Lessons in Chemistry and The Time Traveler’s Wife, SHOOT THE MOON is at once sweeping historical fiction and a heart-wrenching love story with a dash of the metaphysical. But above all, this intricate novel marks the arrival of Arsén’s brilliant storytelling talent and takes readers on a journey across the decades in one singular life, and in doing so paints a portrait of midcentury America that is unflinching as well as nostalgic.

Intelligent but isolated physics graduate Annie Fisk feels an undeniable pull toward space. When she lands a job as a NASA secretary during the Apollo 11 mission, she feels certain this path is her destiny. Her memories of childhood darkened by loss, she’s left behind her home, her mother, and her first love. And now she’s finally found her purpose. Even typing dictation, the work is everything she dreamed, and despite her budding attraction to one of the engineers, she can’t let herself be distracted. Not now.  So when her inability to ignore an engineer’s mistaken calculations propels her into a new position, Annie finds herself torn between her ambition, her heart, and a mysterious discovery that upends everything she knows to be scientifically true. Can she overcome her fears and reach toward the limits of human advancement? Will she chase her ambitions, and risk losing herself in them? Affectingly achronological in its telling, SHOOT THE MOON daringly explores one woman’s quest for both intellectual fulfillment and romantic love, the price paid for scientific progress, and the heart’s persistent yearning for home.

Behind the Book: “I’m fascinated by the past and the ways it throws itself forward to shape an unseen future. When I saw Arrival (2016) for the first time (quickly followed by the second, and the third, and the fourth), I knew I wanted to write a puzzle box time travel story someday. I put out mental feelers every few months to see if I had the right plot yet that could explore the push and pull between one’s private inner world and the sprawling infinity of the universe, but nothing ever clicked until I converted a pile of silent reel-to-reel footage from my grandmother’s youth at the back of her closet in Albuquerque into digital files. The virulent rose bushes; the quiet streets of adobe; the endless New Mexico landscape at once present, yet alien, yet still echoing if you listen closely enough with the sounds of the ancient ocean floor it used to be—here was the place to seed a story about the confusing ecstasy of discovery, both of the self and of the impossible. They call New Mexico the land of enchantment, so it was always my hope to write an appropriately enchanting story with SHOOT THE MOON and inspire readers to discover what awaits beneath their own wild growth.”

About the Author

Isa Arsén is a certified bleeding heart and audio engineer based in South Texas, where she lives with her spouse and a comically small dog. She’s published several shorts and pieces of experimental interactive media. Inspired by her own childhood in New Mexico, Shoot the Moon is Arsén’s debut novel.

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