Virtual Event: Lara Williams with Lydia Kiesling—The Odyssey: A Novel

“This book is a serious vibe . . . a slyly poignant satire on cruise ships, crappy jobs, and capitalism.” —Cosmopolitan

Third Place Books welcomes novelist Lara Williams—author of Supper Club, winner of the Guardian's "Not the Booker" Prize—for a presentation of her new novel The Odyssey. Welcome aboard an unreal, luxury cruise ship where Ingrid is trying to escape life on land but can hardly tell what she's getting into at sea. Our bookseller Wes Minter writes, "With its propulsive plot and macabre humor, the book is a fantastic send-up (takedown?) of modern life's knack of leaving us always craving more, more, more. If she keeps this up, I will follow Williams into the bowels of hell. Possibly lower."

Williams will be joined in conversation by Lydia Kiesling, author of The Golden State.

This event will be broadcast live on Zoom. Registering will provide you with a unique access link in an email. During the event, you can ask questions using the Q&A feature, or chat with fellow attendees. A recording of the event will be made available and emailed to all who register.

This author talk is free! You can sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book.


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About The Odyssey. . .

From the queen of modern satire and prize-winning author of Supper Club—a debut novel that Vogue called, “Stephanie Danler's Sweetbitter meets Donna Tartt's The Secret History"—comes The Odyssey, a fresh twist on the classic epic journey.

Williams delivers another thought-provoking satire about one woman’s lonely journey working aboard a luxury cruise ship and her attempts to navigate its complex work environment, the absurdity of life on and off shore, and the ever-changing seas of love and friendships. This surreal trip is an unapologetic takedown of capitalism and will appeal to fans of Melissa Broder and Ottessa Moshfegh.


Praise for The Odyssey. . .

The Odyssey is a rueful antiheroine's journey full of dynamic absurdity that left me shell-shocked and clamoring for a higher page count. Supper Club catapulted Williams to the top of my (very short) must-read list and The Odyssey cements her place in the echelon. With its propulsive plot and macabre humor, the book is a fantastic send-up (takedown?) of modern life's knack of leaving us always craving more, more, more. If she keeps this up, I will follow Williams into the bowels of hell. Possibly lower.”
—Wesley Minter, Third Place Books (WA)

“I love when writers like Lara Williams write an absurd novel like this, making you believe in this little world as if it made sense. . . . I was completely on board from the first page right up when she drops me off on the last.”
Emily Sperber, Third Place Books (WA)

“Utterly sharp, slyly humorous, and at times devastating in its courageous attempts to make sense of extreme loneliness. The Odyssey is a wildly original dystopian satire about the desire and struggle to forge human connection and the craving for some semblance of progress and order when one’s life has fallen apart. Startlingly unique and beautifully written.”
—Frances Cha, author of If I Had Your Face

"This subversive satire on consumer capitalism and the millennial search for meaning is darkly comic existential fiction at its best.”
Culture Whisper (UK)

Lara Williams is the author of A Selfie as Big as the Ritz, which was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, the Edinburgh First Book Award, and the Saboteur Awards, and longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She is also the author of Supper Club, which won the Guardian “Not the Booker” Prize and was named as a Book of the Year 2019 by TIME and Vogue. Lara Williams lives in Manchester and is a contributor to the GuardianIndependentTimes Literary SupplementViceDazed, and others. (Photo credit: Justine Stoddart)

Lydia Kiesling is the author of The Golden State, a 2018 National Book Foundation “5 under 35” honoree, a finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. She is a contributing editor at The Millions and Zyzzyva and her writing appears in The New York Times MagazineThe New Yorker online, The Cut, and elsewhere. (Photo credit: Andria Lo)

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