William Auten, writer and musician from California, will be at Page One Books at 6:30pm on Thursday, July 7, to talk about and sign his 2016 novel, Pepper's Ghost, which partially takes place in a circus sideshow.
The book is described as such: "Charlotte Alexandra Long is determined to create her own life, but severe reverberations await her at the crossroads of each decision and always the possibility that the very thing she put in place on her own terms could be wiped away by an uncertain future. As Pepper's Ghost weaves in and out of her experiences as a teen and young adult, and locations in the South and Midwest, Alex emerges from the remains of young Charlotte, but her evolving identity will never escape being an outsider in society's eyes. After a series of ill-fitting jobs, Alex joins a traveling amusement company as a sideshow performer, where illusion and reality interplay through the metaphor of an old theater trick. She faces challenges from her troubled but devoted father, her self-absorbed mother, a spectrum of circus employees, and emotional ties to memories and places that give solace in times of ambiguity and loneliness."
Auten's work has appeared in Cahoodaoodaling, District Lit, Drunken Boat, failbetter, Hawaii Review, Nimrod, Notre Dame Review, Origins, Rum Punch Press, Canada's Saturday Night Reader, Terrain, and other publications. Auten read at the bicentennial celebration for North American Review in 2015. He is also an accomplished painter and musician, and a member of the Gym Jones community. His other interests include science and technology, history, religion and history. Having lived in Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Virginia, he and his wife now call California home.