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Katherine Dunn Tribute Event with Naomi Huffman & Lydia Kiesling
November 1, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pmFree
Toad (MCD) is a previously unpublished novel of the reflections of a deeply scarred and reclusive woman, from cult icon Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love. Sally Gunnar has been in love, has been mad, has been an agent of destruction, has been spurned; and now she has retreated from the world. She lives in isolation in her small house, where her only companions are a vase of goldfish, a garden toad, and the door-to-door salesman who sells her cleaning supplies once a month. From her comfortable perch, she broods over her deepest regrets: her wayward, weed-hazy college days; her blighted romance with a scornful poet; a tragically comic accident involving a paper cutter; a suicide attempt; and her decision to ultimately relinquish a conventional life. Colorful, crass, and profound, Toad is Dunn’s ode to her time as a student at Reed College, filled with the same keen observations, taboo-shirking verve, and singular characters that made Geek Love a cult classic. Daring and bizarre, Toad is a brilliant precursor to the book that would make Dunn a misfit hero — even 50-some years after it was written, it’s a refreshing take on the lives of young outsiders treading the delicate lines between isolation and freedom, love and insanity, hatred and friendship. This special book launch event will feature a conversation between Toad editor Naomi Huffman and Lydia Kiesling, author of The Golden State. This event is cosponsored by Lewis & Clark Special Collections and Archives.