Saturday, May 21, 2022
Visiting Writers: Ashleigh Pedersenand Ben Shattuck
In partnership with the Fishers Island Library, Lighthouse Works is pleased to welcome Ashleigh Pedersen (s1) and Ben Shattuck (s7) back to Fishers Island. Both will read from their recently published novels The Crocodile Bride, and *Six Walks: in the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau.
- “A generous, tender novel with unforgettable characters and a perfect, transcendent ending.” —Carter Sickels
During a hot summer of June moods, grubworms, and dark storms, Sunshine discovers stones in her chest – and learns the dangers her coming-of-age will bring about in the yellow house she shares with her father. As Sunshine’s summer unspools, she turns to the one person who will need no explanation of the family secrets she carries—the crocodile bride. The Crocodile Bride is at once a heartbreakingly tender coming-of-age tale and a lyrical, haunting reflection on generational trauma. Reminiscent of Jesmyn Ward and Helen Oyeyemi, Ashleigh Bell Pedersen is a promising new voice in American fiction.
Ashleigh Bell Pedersen’s fiction has been featured in New Stories from the South, The Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review, Design Observer, The Silent History, A Strange Object, and the New York Public Library’s Library Simplified app. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She currently resides in Austin, Texas.
“A gorgeous reminder that walking is the most radical form of locomotion nowadays.” —Nick Offerman
On an autumn morning in 1849, Henry David Thoreau stepped out his front door to walk the beaches of Cape Cod. Over a century and a half later, Ben Shattuck does the same. With little more than a loaf of bread, brick of cheese, and a notebook, Shattuck sets out to retrace Thoreau’s path through the Cape’s outer beaches, from the elbow to Provincetown’s fingertip. Intimate, entertaining, and beautifully crafted, Six Walks is a resounding tribute to the ways walking in nature can inspire us all.
Ben Shattuck, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, is a recipient of the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize and a 2019 Pushcart Prize. He is the director of the Cuttyhunk Island Writers’ Residency. His writing can be found in the Harvard Review, The Common, the Paris Review Daily, Lit Hub, and Kinfolk Magazine. He lives with his wife and daughter on the coast of Massachusetts, where he owns and runs a general store built in 1793.