Literary Luncheon:

Karen Joy Fowler

in conversation with Katherine Maxfield

Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 11:30AM - 1:30PM

VENUE: Historic Villa


Service fees may apply and are non-refundable.
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Karen Fowler
Photo: Brett Hall Jones

About our moderator, Katherine Maxfield:

“Thank you, Katherine, for your expert conversational style!” -Armistead Maupin

“Katherine Maxfield was impressively well prepared and is a splendid, gifted conversationalist” - Michael Krasny

Maxfield’s conversations with writers have been favorably compared to Terry Gross’ Fresh Air, City Arts & Lectures, and Celebrity Forum. Her friendly yet probing style encourages writers to reveal their writing and thought processes, delves into the world of agents and publishers, and examines interesting angles of their most recent publication.

Maxfield has a BA (economics), an MBA (marketing) and an MFA (writing). She worked for Silicon Valley’s ComQuest, ROLM Corporation, Polycom, Apple, and 3Com. Her non-fiction book, Starting Up Silicon Valley, was named a Kirkus Best Book of 2014 and was a 2015 Eric Hoffer winner in the business category. Her award-winning short fiction and personal perspectives have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Ontario Review, and numerous other literary journals.

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“An astonishing narrative voice, at once lyric and ironic, satiric and nostalgic…Fowler can tell stories that engage and enchant.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Beloved by readers and esteemed by fellow writers, award-winning novelist Karen Joy Fowler has been a favorite of critics from the beginning of her remarkable literary career. With Maxfield, she will discuss her latest work, the best-selling novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.

A delicious lunch paired with wine is included in your ticket purchase. Books will be available for purchase.


22-year-old Rosemary does not like to talk about her sister Fern, who was sent away when Rosemary was only 5 years old. Fern’s abrupt absence devastates Rosemary’s entire family, setting in motion a cycle of pain and division that Rosemary is still trying to reconcile. That Fern was actually a chimpanzee raised alongside Rosemary like a human in no way mitigates the trauma her disappearance has wrought.

By turns unsettling, enchanting, devastating, and devastatingly funny, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is a masterful portrayal of a well-meaning but self-deceiving American family. It is equally a challenging tale of scientific hubris, a provocative coming-of-age story, and a profound exploration of what it means to be human.


Fowler is the author of six novels and three short story collections. Consistently acclaimed by critics, most of her titles have been New York Times Notable Books and named on many best-of-year lists. Her most recent novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, won the PEN/Faulkner Award as well as the California Book Award for Fiction for 2013 and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.  She is also the author of The Jane Austen Book Club, which was on the New York Times bestsellers list for nineteen weeks and was made into a major motion picture. Born and raised in an academic family in Bloomington, Indiana, she holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a graduate degree from University of California, Davis.

Official Site