Start: 7:00 pm
One of last year's most praised novels, Bonnie Jo Campbell's Once Upon a River (W.W. Norton, new in paper) is a memorable coming-of-age story, a young woman looking for her mother, a biography of her hero, Annie Oakley, in hand. "American fiction waited a long time for Bonnie Jo Campbell to come along. A lot of us, not only women, were looking for a fictional heroine who would be deeply good, brave as a wolverine, never a crybaby, as able as Sacagawea, with a strong and unapologetic sexuality. We wanted to feel her roots in some ancient story; we wanted Diana the huntress, but not her virginity; we wanted a real human girl whom we could believe had been suckled by bears, or wolves. To give us heroines like this, the gods finally brought us Bonnie Jo Campbell, one of our most important and necessary writers." –Jaimy Gordon.