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P&P Live! Red Hen Press "Literary Crushes" Panel

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Join five Red Hen Press authors as they discuss crushes in fiction, confess their own, and even share some recipes for love potions.

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A crush is a kind of fiction, a story we build around an impossible love on scant evidence. This is why crushes make such a compelling subject for writers—intense emotion on an inevitable collision course with reality.

Panelists include:

Amy Shearn is the author of the novelsThe Mermaid of Brooklyn, How Far Is the Ocean From Here, and most recently, Unseen City. Librarian Meg becomes obsessed with an intriguing library patron and the haunted house he's trying to research. What follows is an exploration of what home is, how we live with loss, who belongs in the city and to whom the city belongs, and the possibilities and power of love.

Chelsea Catherine's book, Summer of the Cicadas, won the Quill Prose Award from Red Hen Press. It is set in West Virginia as cicadas wreak havoc on everything in their path. Protagonist Jessica, a former cop, is deputized during the crisis. Throughout the book, she must deal with her feelings for her sister's best friend, Natasha, who is a town council member, while a sudden but devastating loss changes everything.

Lara Ehrlich’s story collection, Animal Wife, received Red Hen Press’s Fiction Award, judged by New York Times-bestselling author, Ann Hood, who called the collection “sensual and intelligent, with gorgeous prose.” The fifteen stories are unified by girls and women who cross the threshold seeking liberation from family responsibilities, from societal expectations, and from their own minds.

Melanie Conroy-Goldman is the author of the novel The Likely World, which follows Mellie and her 20-year addiction to cloud, a drug which wipes the user's short-term memory. However, on her 29th day sober, a stranger pulls into her driveway and her heart surges. When Mellie's pursuit of this man threatens her sponsor, she puts her family and her recovery at risk.

Reema Rajbanshi is the author of Sugar, Smoke, Song, which won the Women’s Prose Prize judged by Lidia Yuknavitch. It is a a collection of nine linked stories set in the Bronx, California, India, and Brazil. Ultimately, it is about girls and women caught between their desires, others’ expectations, and unexpected disaster, and how they maneuver with humor and rage into wilder, surviving selves.

Moderating the conversation is Allison Punch, a reader, writer, and Michigander living in the DC area. She was awarded the Deacon Maccubin Young Writers Award in 2016, and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Argot Magazine and Breadcrumbs Magazine. She reviews books on Instagram at @allisonreadsdc.

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