Virtual Book Tour Debut: Kristen Young, Subduction

“The title of the book refers to the geological phenomenon of one tectonic plate sinking under the influence of another, during which both subsumed and overriding plates are wracked by distortion and disruption. In Young’s novel, the answer to which is which is left beautifully unclear.”

—  The Paris Review

“In this utterly unique and important first novel, Young examines themes of love, intrusion, loss, community and trust against a backdrop of a Makah reservation in the Pacific Northwest.”

Ms. Magazine (named SUBDUCTION a top 2020 Feminist Book)

Give us the elevator pitch for your book.

Named a staff pick by The Paris Review, SUBDUCTION is a lyric retelling of the troubled history of encounter in the Americas.

What were your plans for book launch pre-Covid?

I spent the past year setting up 35 events for my book tour, beginning from its publication date through November, as well as arranging for a series of forthcoming essays and conversations in outlets such as The Rumpus and Lit Hub, which will still happen.

Where were you when you heard your book tour/ launch was cancelled?

At AWP, where I moderated mainstage events just after learning that Warren had dropped from the race, I texted Hugo House events director Rob Arnold, who kindly agreed to reschedule my SUBDUCTION launch to Friday, October 2nd.

Some events – the Get Lit! conference in Spokane, the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference and an appearance with 50 booksellers of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association on my April 14th pub date – have been canceled. With real hope, I have deferred my California readings to Friday, July 24th, when I plan to appear at Skylight Books in L.A., and Tuesday, September 22nd, when I will read at East Bay Booksellers in Oakland, following on a Wednesday, September 23rd  event at City Lights Booksellers in San Francisco. I am very grateful to Hugo House, where I am the current Prose Writer-in-Residence, for holding my launch on Friday, October 2nd, when I hope to again receive the recommendation of the arts editors from Seattle Met and The Stranger who were kind enough to feature my original spring date.

What went into writing and selling your book?

Can I answer this question on deadline? How to explain the last ten years to you?

What is the weirdest job you held on your path to publication?

I am my own boss, and she’s real exacting. On this long journey, I have been stubborn about hewing close to my path as a freelance journalist and essayist, but I’ve found true joy.

What do you want readers to take away from your book?

SUBDUCTION is a hardscrabble tale told through fraught  characters for whom there is no easy redemption. Readers will need to think through the decisions that Peter and Claudia make because they can’t see better choices.

What’s your favorite Indie Book store?

Elliott Bay Books Co. is a beautiful store in which books take on the rare gleam of treasure.

Can you recommend one other debut?

For years, Corinne Manning and I were in this thing together. It’s a hard journey, but we made it. Her story collection WE HAD NO RULES is a testament to Arsenal Pulp Press. Check out this excerpt on Electric Literature.

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