Pack your bags and follow along as The Clay Girl’s Heather Tucker takes Ari and her imaginary (but steadfast) seahorse friend, Jasper, on an indie bookstore road trip! They’ll be stopping by indie bookstores doing readings and signings, so be sure to check out our Twitter and Facebook for pictures and updates. Please also tag us in your pictures @ecwpress and using hashtag #ClayGirlRoadTrip.
Read an excerpt of this Indies Next Pick here!
Indie Road Trip Appearances
October 17: Cellar Door Bookstore, Riverside, CA
October 19: HopMonk Tavern, Sebastopol, CA
October 21: Village Books and Paper Dreams, Bellingham, WA
October 24: Fact & Fiction, Missoula, MT
What indie booksellers are saying so far about The Clay Girl
“Ari Appleton has been dealt the worst hand ever in terms of parents: her dad is an incestuous pedophile who’s both charismatic and cruel, and her mother is an incredibly egocentric addict who bore six girls and has not an iota of love for anyone but herself. But Ari attracts goodness and mines kindness even from the most surprising people, and, because she is a story weaver, she reroutes her own story. Ari moves away from the drug culture and sexual revolution in Toronto in the 1960s to Pleasant Cove, an idyllic place where she is surrounded by love and nurturing. This novel is full of those take-away-your-breath lines, the ones you want to write down and keep in your pocket for when you need them. Ari joins the ranks of heroines like Lyra Belacqua or Liesel Meminger, girls who take the worst society has to offer and turn it into strength and kindness.” — Linda Sherman-Nurick, Cellar Door Bookstore (Riverside, CA)
“This is a beautifully written story of strength and resilience, leading to ultimate victory over seemingly impossible challenges. Hariet/Ari/Arielle (known by various names to different people at different times) was born into an epically dysfunctional family. She must deal with an uncaring mother, a sexual predator father, and an abusive stepfather while being denied escape to a loving, supportive aunt. Despite these and other challenges, the girl not only survives but, with help from caring teachers, grows into a strong young woman who finds love and is able to nurture others as well as herself. This book, which is like no other in terms of character, voice, and plot, rewards the reader with a memorable heroine who triumphs over daunting odds.” — Joe Strebel, Anderson’s Bookshop (Naperville, IL)
“WOW! Incredible writing meets an absolutely devastating story in this amazing, poetic debut novel. The struggle to overcome brutal emotional and physical trauma in childhood colors every aspect of the lives of the Appleton sisters. Tucker’s writing is edgy, sparse, and inventive as she expertly shows us the inner thoughts and workings of a truly dysfunctional family which manages to maintain hope and grace despite incredible odds. Achingly beautiful!” — Phyllis Spinale, Wellesley Books
“Stunning — a really great novel full of enormously difficult life situations yet handled by an author blessed with a flair for language, poetics, insight, truly great characters, and a kind of grace that defies description. A coming-of-age like no other. Don't miss this!” — Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield’s
“CLAY GIRL is a novel imbued with the language of childhood, tangled by fears and fantasy, into a painfully brutal fairytale. Ari too often has to face tragedy with her brave strong heart as she is repeatedly ripped from her home, sometimes landing in a better place, sometimes in a broken place, she never stops hoping for a place to belong. This unforgettable debut is as full of grace, spirit, and tenacity as Ari, and like Ari faces uncomfortable truths with tenderness and imagination.” — Luisa Smith, Book Passage
Jasper stopped by Cellar Door Books early to check out their Clay Girl display.
First stop at Cellar Door Books: Heather Tucker signing a lucky reader’s book (left), Heather and owner Linda Sherman-Nurick (centre), readers lining up to get their copies signed (right).