Books and Bathrobes with Carol Edgarian

Books & Bathrobes with Carol Edgarian

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Literary Affairs invites you to an exclusive ONLINE Books & Bathrobes event with New York Times bestselling author and co-founder of Narrative Carol Edgarian about her novel, Vera. Join us on Zoom for a book club style conversation between Julie Robinson and Carol Edgarian followed by a Q & A.


Wednesday, April 7

10:30am – 12pm

The safety and comfort of your own home.

Bathrobes or sweats encouraged.

$15 requested to help defray our costs. NO REFUNDS.


Carol Edgarian’s novels include the newly released Vera, the New York Times bestseller Three Stages of Amazement and the international bestseller Rise The Euphrates, winner of the ANC Freedom Prize. Her work has been described by The Washington Post as notable for its “generosity of spirit, intelligence, humanity, and finally ambition.” Her articles and essays have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and W, among many others, and she co-edited the popular collection drawn from writers’ diaries, The Writer’s Life: Intimate Thoughts on Work, Love, Inspiration, and Fame. Carol is co-founder of the non-profit Narrative, a leading digital publisher of fiction, poetry, and art, and of Narrative in the Schools, which provides free libraries and writing resources for teachers and students around the world. Carol lives with her family in San Francisco.


New York Times bestselling author Carol Edgarian delivers an astonishing feat of imagination, a grand adventure set in 1906 San Francisco — a city leveled by quake and fire — featuring an indomitable heroine coming of age in the aftermath of catastrophe and her quest for love and reinvention.

Meet Vera Johnson, the uncommonly resourceful fifteen-year-old illegitimate daughter of Rose, notorious proprietor of San Francisco’s most legendary bordello and ally to the city’s corrupt politicians. Vera has grown up straddling two worlds — the madam’s alluring sphere, replete with tickets to the opera, surly henchmen, and scant morality, and the violent, debt ridden domestic life of the family paid to raise her.

On the morning of the great quake, Vera’s worlds collide. As the shattered city burns and looters vie with the injured, orphaned, and starving, Vera and her guileless sister, Pie, are cast adrift. Vera disregards societal norms and prejudices and begins to imagine a new kind of life. She collaborates with Tan, her former rival, and forges an unlikely family of survivors. Together they navigate their way beyond disaster.

In Vera, Carol Edgarian creates a cinematic, deeply entertaining world, in which honor and fates are tested; notions of sex, class, and justice are turned upside down; and love is hard-won. A ravishing, heartbreaking, and profound affirmation of youth and tenacity, Vera’s story brings to life legendary characters — tenor Enrico Caruso, indicted mayor Eugene Schmitz and boss Abe Ruef, tabloid celebrity Alma Spreckels — as well as an unforgettable cast that includes Vera’s young lover, Bobby, protector of the city’s tribe of orphans, and three generations of a Chinese family competing and conspiring with Vera.

This richly imagined, timely tale of improbable outcomes and alliances takes hold from the first page, gifting readers with remarkable scenes of devastation, renewal, and joy. Told with unflinching candor and wit, Vera celebrates the audacious fortitude of its young heroine and marks a stunning achievement by an inventive and generous writer.