Author Event: Unleashed by Cai Emmons
September 15 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Please join us for this in-store event.
Set amidst California’s wildfire season, a vivid and magical novel following a family in crisis thrust on a collision course with the world around them that has an outcome beyond their wildest imaginings . . .
When Lu and George Barnes drop their only daughter, Pippa, off at college, they return to their Sonoma home to find that their paths have diverged. Confronted with an empty nest, Lu’s increasing dissatisfaction with their materialistic lives becomes impossible to ignore. She is most content outdoors, finding the animals in her backyard far superior company to her pretentious neighbors. In contrast, George is eager to throw himself into his business, a local winery with an elite clientele, as well as his art collection. He cannot for the life of him understand his wife’s discontent.
Meanwhile, Pippa feels completely adrift at school in the bustle of LA—its unfamiliar noises, its unfriendly atmosphere. She finds comfort only in the beloved family cat she’s brought with her and in her zoology class, which makes the world seem just a bit brighter. As Lu, George, and Pippa struggle to adapt, growing apart in the process, tensions outside the family are mounting as well; women have been disappearing across the country with no worldly explanation, all while California’s wildfire season is swiftly approaching, and with it, a surprising reckoning is coming, one that none of the Barneses can avoid.
At once a grounded story about love and family, and a transcendent tale about the power of nature, Unleashed is a stunning look at what matters in an all too chaotic world, the things that sustain us when we are on the verge of losing it all, and how we might find ourselves in the most unexpected of ways.
Unleashed is an ambitious and transcendent novel set against the backdrop of California’s wildfire season in which a family is in crisis – if you’re a fan of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, this is for you!
“Unleashed is deeply insightful about our current moment, the way we struggle to balance the quotidian conflicts of love and family with the apocalyptic thunderclouds ever-growing over our heads. Cai Emmons has written a rich and moving book about the things that make life matter, even during the darkest times.” —Dan Chaon, author of Sleepwalk
“What seems like your basic California wine country empty-nest story goes off in wildly unexpected directions…. It’s quite a trip.” —Kirkus
Cai Emmons is the author of four novels – His Mother’s Son, The Stylist, Weather Woman, Sinking Islands – and a story collection, Vanishing. She holds a BA from Yale, and two MFAs: from NYU in film and from the University of Oregon in fiction. Winner of a Student Academy Award, an Oregon Book Award, and the Leapfrog Fiction Prize, and a finalist for the Narrative Magazine and Missouri Review fiction prizes, she has taught creative writing at a variety of institutions, most recently at the University of Oregon.