Paulette Livers, Dylan Landis, and Rebecca Makkai

Tuesday June 23, 2015
07:00 pm

Tags: Event





Paulette Livers, Dylan Landis, and Rebecca Makkai came together to read from and discuss their new books, Cementville (Livers), Rainey Royal (Landis), Music for Wartime, and The Hundred-Year House (Makkai). 

About Cementville
In late spring of 1969, a picturesque southern town is turned inside out by the deaths of seven young National Guardsmen in a single Vietcong attack. The return of the bodies sets off something inside the town itself—a sense of violence, a political reality, a gnawing unease with the future—pushing the families of Cementville into alienation and grief. 

About Rainey Royal
Fourteen-year-old Rainey Royal lives with her father, a jazz musician with a cultish personality, in a decaying  Greenwich Village brownstone. Her mother has abandoned the family, and Rainey fends off advances from her father's best friend. She's a rebel, even a criminal, but she's also deeply vulnerable, trying desperately to nurture her own creative drives and build a substitute family. Rainey Royal is the harrowing and ultimately affirming story of a young artist coming into her own.

About Music for Wartime

In Rebecca Makkai’s new story collection, Music for Wartime, a reality show producer manipulates two contestants into falling in love, while her own relationship falls apart. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a young boy has a revelation about his father’s past when a renowned Romanian violinist plays a concert in their home. In an unnamed country, a composer records the folk songs of two women from a village on the brink of destruction. 


About The Hundred-Year House

Doug’s academic career is in shambles when his mother-in-law offers up the coach house at Laurelfield, her hundred-year-old estate north of Chicago. He and his wife Zee accept. Doug is fascinated by the house’s previous life as an artists’ colony, and hopes to find something there about the poet Edwin Parfitt, who was in residence at Laurelfield in the twenties. But his mother-in-law refuses him access to file cabinets full of colony archives in the attic. With help from friends, Doug finally does access the Parfitt file—only to find far stranger and more disturbing material than he bargained for.

Paulette Livers’s novel Cementville, winner of the Elle Lettres Prize 2014, was a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize and the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year. The recipient of awards and fellowships from the Artcroft Foundation, Aspen Writers Foundation, Center for the American West, and Ox-Bow Artist Residence, she lives in Chicago. Please visit


Dylan Landis is the author of a novel, Rainey Royal, a New York Times Editors' Choice, and a linked story collection, Normal People Don't Live Like This. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Bomb, and the O. Henry Prize Stories 2014, and she has received a Fellowship in fiction from the National Endowment for the Arts. Please visit


Rebecca Makkai is the author of the novels The Hundred-Year House (2014) and The Borrower (2011), and the story collection Music for Wartime (2015). Her short fiction was featured in The Best American Short Stories in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, Rebecca lives in Chicago. Please visit


This event was funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc., with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.