East End Books Ptown welcomes back Steven Rowley with his fantastic new book: The Celebrants. Join us June 11th at 6pm. Steven will be in conversation with Christopher Castellani "Leading Men."
Tickets available Here: "The Celebrants" w/ Steven Rowley 6/11 at 6pm Tickets, Sun, Jun 11, 2023 at 6:00 PM | Eventbrite
Facebook Page : https://fb.me/e/FUmZcUN0
QUICK TAKE: It’s been a minute—or five years—since Jordan Vargas last saw his college friends, and twenty-eight years since their graduation when their adult lives officially began. Now Jordan, Jordy, Naomi, Craig, and Marielle find themselves at the brink of a new decade, with all the responsibilities of adulthood, yet no closer to having their lives figured out. That’s not for a lack of trying. Over the years they’ve reunited in Big Sur to honor a decades-old pact to throw each other living “funerals,” celebrations to remind themselves that life is worth living—and living well. But this reunion is different. They’re not gathered as they were to bolster Marielle as her marriage crumbled, to lift Naomi after her parents died, or to intervene when Craig pleaded guilty to art fraud. This time, Jordan is sitting on a secret that will upend their pact. Full of Steven Rowley’s signature humor and heart, THE CELEBRANTS is a moving tale about the false invincibility of youth, and the beautiful ways in which friendship helps us celebrate our lives, even amid the deepest challenges of living.
BEHIND THE BOOK: THE CELEBRANTS was inspired in part by Rowley’s re-watching of Lawrence Kasdan's classic 1983 film The Big Chill early in the pandemic. “Like in the movie, I have a group of close friends from college, whom I’ve known now for more than half my life. It’s a unique experience having friends who met you as an idealistic young person and who you remain close to for your entire adult life – they understand you in a way no one else can, even more so than family in many regards. I wanted to honor these relationships by writing about a group of similar friends who have stuck by one another and also explore where these bonds could go next. Additionally, two recent events for me have been formative: I turned fifty, and I lost one of my closest friends to breast cancer. Losing a contemporary, especially in middle age, forces you to really confront your own mortality. There is something unique about friend grief that is not written about nearly enough – especially at this point in our lives. If the last few years have underscored anything, it's that time is not guaranteed. Instead of wallowing in that reality, I wanted to celebrate it. To embrace the many beautiful people in my life and tell them exactly what they mean to me. Just as the characters do here, begrudgingly sometimes, but with unconditional love, a lot of laughter and wide open hearts.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steven Rowley is the bestselling author of four novels including Lily and the Octopus, a Washington Post Notable Book of 2016; The Editor, an NPR Best Book of 2019; and The Guncle, finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor and Goodreads finalist for Novel of the Year. His fiction has been translated in twenty languages. He resides in Palm Springs, California.
EARLY PRAISE FOR THE CELEBRANTS:
One of Buzzfeed’s Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Books of 2023
One of Electric Lit’s Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Books of Spring 2023
One of Nerd Daily’s Most Anticipated Books of 2023
“Rowley's latest is a superbly crafted narrative about five college friends who make a unique pact….Beautifully written and culminating in a phenomenally well-realized concluding set-piece, Rowley's tale wonderfully captures how deeply important friendships are. Like Ron Currie Jr.'s Everything Matters! (2009) this is a life-affirming work, one that is both hilarious and richly affecting, with an unforgettable cast of engaging characters that readers will wish they could spend more time with.”
—Booklist (starred review)
"Steven Rowley is an auto-buy, and his latest novel, The Celebrants, is a testament to his trademark humor and grace. A thoughtful, heartbreaking, funny novel about love, marriage, grief, and friendship."
—Laura Dave, author of The Last Thing He Told Me
"The Celebrants made me laugh and cry...and make some overdue phone calls to old friends. A timely examination of why connections matter and a powerful ode to friendship. We should all have such a pact."
—Shelby Van Pelt, author of Remarkably Bright Creatures
"What can stave off the fear of death, or rescue you from one of life's less fatal heartbreaks? Steven Rowley, ever warm and witty, offers up lifelong friendship, and I am inclined to believe him."
—Emma Straub, author of All Adults Here and This Time Tomorrow
"Rowley offers another winning story of a friend group held together by an unusual bond. . . . Genuinely heartfelt . . . Rowley admirably avoids sentimentality along the way, and there’s plenty of fresh and witty dialogue. For anyone needing a reminder about the importance of friendships, this will more than do the trick.”
"An updated Big Chill . . . hitting many of the same sweet and melancholy notes around aging, death, love, and the shorthand old friends have with each other."
“Rowley’s novels deftly oscillate between tear-jerker and knee-slapper, books that brim with all of life’s big and small emotions, and his latest is no exception. It might just be his best yet.”
"Rowley once again displays his talent at balancing humor and heart in surprising ways.”
"A tender, funny, bittersweet exploration of friendship, family, joy, grief, and what it means to be alive. I loved everything about it.”
—Allison Winn Scotch, author of The Rewind