Author Talk: Xhenet Aliu, author of "Brass: A Novel"
Please join us as we welcome XHENET ALIU, the author of Brass: A Novel, who joins us on her U.S. promotional tour of the paperback version of her bestseller. Aliu is a native of Waterbury, CT, whose brass industry attracted large waves of immigrants before the demise of the factories in the 1970s and '80s. Aliu's highly praised, fierce debut novel is about mothers and daughters, haves and have-nots, and the stark realities behind the American Dream. Told in parallel narratives with biting wit and grace, BRASS announces a fearless new voice with a timely, tender, and quintessentially American story.
-- A waitress at the Betsy Ross diner, Elsie hopes her nickel and dime tips will add up to a new life. Then she mets Bashkim, who is at once both worldly and naive, a married man who left Albania to chase his dreams--and wound up working as a line cook in Waterbury, Connecticut. Back when the brass mills were still open, this bustling factory town drew one wave of immigrants after another. Now, this is the place they can't seem to leave. Elsie, herself the granddaughter of Lithuanian immigrants, falls in love quickly, but when Bashkim learns that she's pregnant, Elsie can't help wondering where his heart really lies, and what he'll do about the wife he left behind. Seventeen years later, a headstrong and independent Luljeta receives a rejection letter from NYU and her first-ever suspension from school on the same day. Instead of striking out on her own in Manhattan, she's stuck in Connecticut with the mother, Elsie --a fate she refuses to accept. Wondering if the key to her future is unlocking the secrets of the past, Lulu decides to find out what exactly her mother has been hiding about the father she never knew. As she soon discovers, the truth is closer than she ever imagined.
Brass was long-listed for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Book Prize. Aliu's writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Hobart, LitHub, Buzzfeed, and elsewhere. She has received multiple scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and many other awards. Aliu now lives in Athens, Georgia and works as an academic librarian and writing instructor.
This program is funded by the Friends of the Cheshire Public Library. Bookclubs are encouraged to attend. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing, registration is required.
- Monday, March 11, 2019
- 6:00pm - 8:00pm
- Mary Baldwin Room, Main Level
- Eileen Topitzer