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Tonight we’re excited to welcome Austin author Katherine Arden with her debut novel! The Bear and the Nightingale draws inspiration from magical Russian fairy tales to tell the story of Vasilisa, a young girl living at the wintery edges of the wilderness who must confront the malevolent creatures dwelling deep in the forest to save her family and village. Join us tonight for an incredible talk and signing with local author Katherine Arden!
ABOUT THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn t mind she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles nearer, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse s most frightening tales.
ABOUT KATHERINE ARDEN
Born in Austin, Texas, Katherine Arden spent her junior year of high school in Rennes, France. Following her acceptance to Middlebury College in Vermont, she deferred enrollment for a year in order to live and study in Moscow. At Middlebury, she specialized in French and Russian literature. After receiving her BA, she moved to Maui, Hawaii, where she worked every kind of odd job imaginable, from grant writing and making crepesto serving as a personal tour guide. After a year on the island, she moved to Briancon, France, and spent nine months teaching. She then returned to Maui, stayed, got restless, and left again to wander. Currently she lives in Vermont, but really, you never know.
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