Alta Asks Live: Kimi Eisele

Author Kimi Eisele joined Alta Asks Live and host Heather Scott Partington for a talk on a hopeful apocalypse, neighborhood walks, and how women write science fiction.

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Author and artist Kimi Eisele’s novel, The Lightest Object in the Universe, is a story of resilience set amidst global chaos, making her tale not only deeply engrossing but also incredibly timely. Eisele joins Alta Asks Live and host Heather Scott Partington on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. PST to discuss her book, our troubled universe, and how good can emerge in a time of crisis.

Buy the book: The Lightest Object in the Universe

Read Alta Asks: Talking with Kimi Eisele

About the book and author

What if the end times allowed people to see and build the world anew? The Lightest Object in the Universe imagines what happens after the global economy collapses and the electrical grid goes down.

In this new world, Carson, on the East Coast, is desperate to find Beatrix, a woman on the West Coast who holds his heart. Working his way along a cross-country railroad line, he encounters lost souls, clever opportunists, and those who believe they’ll be saved by an evangelical preacher in the middle of the country. While Carson travels west, Beatrix and her neighbors begin to construct the kind of cooperative community that suggests the end could be, in fact, a bright beginning. Without modern means of communication, will Beatrix and Carson find their way to each other, and what will be left of the old world if they do? The answers may lie with a fifteen-year-old girl who could ultimately decide the fate of the lovers.

The Lightest Object in the Universe is a moving and hopeful story about resilience and adaptation and a testament to the power of community, where our best traits, born of necessity, can begin to emerge.

Kimi Eisele is a writer and multidisciplinary artist. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, Longreads, Orion Magazine, High Country News, and elsewhere. She has received grants from the Arts Foundation of Southern Arizona, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Kresge Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Tucson and works for the Southwest Folklife Alliance. This is her first novel.

Catch up on the Alta Asks Live archive.

About the moderator

Heather Scott Partington is a writer, teacher, and book critic. She is the winner of an emerging critic fellowship from the National Book Critics Circle and the critic in residence for UC Riverside’s Palm Desert MFA program. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and Los Angeles Review of Books among other publications. She lives in Elk Grove, California, with her husband and two kids.

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