Christopher X. Shade, The Good Mother of Marseille
We welcome New York author Christopher X. Shade to read from his debut novel The Good Mother of Marseille. The novel is set in the summer of 2013, in the year of Marseille's designation as the European Capital of Culture. Americans wander and sightsee in this dangerous and impoverished yet seductive city. The Americans whose stories are told in this novel -- anthropology students Noémie and Corey, the couple from a small town in Alabama, the Colorado man with late-stage cancer, and a woman and her journalist husband -- put their Marseille experience in the context of their own histories. Hovering on the fringe are the Marseillais themselves -- the shopkeepers, artists, and café waiters -- following the rhythm of European street life. The book is a love letter to the turbulence of Marseille, and to the turbulence to be found under the surface of each of us, the pounding hearts and jarring fears.
Christopher X. Shade is co-founder and co-editor of Cagibi, a journal of poetry and prose. His stories and book reviews have appeared widely, and he has won story awards including the 2016 Writers at Work fellowship competition. He teaches fiction and poetry writing at The Writers Studio. Raised in the South, he now lives with his wife in New York City. He grew up in a Scrabble-loving family and was excited to learn that the game was invented in the neighborhood where he now lives, Jackson Heights.