In conversation with Rachel Monroe
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ABOUT LIFE EVENTS
A woman at a crossroads learns the only way to reclaim her life is to help others die.
Karolina Waclawiak’s breakout novel, Life Events, follows Evelyn, who, at thirty-seven, is on the verge of divorce and anxiously dreading the death of everyone she loves. She combats her existential crisis by avoiding her husband and aimlessly driving along the freeways of California looking for an escape—one that eventually comes when she discovers a collective of “exit guides.” Evelyn enrolls in their training course, where she learns to provide companionship and a final exit for terminally ill patients seeking a conscious departure.
She meets Daphne, a dying woman still full of life; Lawrence, an aging porn king; and Daniel, who seems too young to die and whom Evelyn falls for, despite knowing better, not to mention the exit guide code. Each client opens something new in Evelyn, allowing her a chance to access her own grief and confront the self-destructive ways she suppresses her pain. When Evelyn travels through the Southwest to an afterlife convention to further her death education, she must finally face her complicated relationship with her alcoholic father and reconcile her life choices.
Sensitively observed and darkly funny, Life Events is a moving, enlivening story of the human condition: the doldrums of loneliness, the consuming regret of past mistakes, and the thrill, finally, of finding meaning—and love—where you least expect it.
ABOUT KAROLINA WACLAWIAK
Karolina Waclawiak is the author of the novels How to Get into the Twin Palms and The Invaders. Formerly an editor at The Believer, she is the executive editor of culture at BuzzFeed News. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Hazlitt, and elsewhere.
ABOUT RACHEL MONROE
Rachel Monroe is a writer based in Marfa, Texas, whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Wired, and the Atlantic, where she is a contributing writer. Her first book, Savage Appetites: True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession (Scribner) was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and named a best book of the year by Esquire, theChicago Tribune, and Jezebel. Her work has been anthologized in Best American Travel Writing 2018 and Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, Murder, Deceit, and Obsession.
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