Steven Rowley: The Celebrants at LFPL Main Branch

Event date: 

Wednesday, June 7, 2023 - 7:00pm
301 York Street
Louisville, KY 40203

Register HERE

 

Pre-registering helps us order enough books for our guests and helps us set up the room for safety and comfort. We will allow pre-registrants to be seated first. No one will be turned away, but please note that seating is limited. Please contact the store ahead of time if you need assistance with mobility or other concerns - we are happy to help!

 

 

Big Chill for our times, celebrating decades-long friendships and promises—especially to ourselves—by the bestselling and beloved author of The Guncle.

It’s been a minute—or five years—since Jordan Vargas last saw his college friends, and twenty-eight years since their graduation when their adult lives officially began. Now Jordan, Jordy, Naomi, Craig, and Marielle find themselves at the brink of a new decade, with all the responsibilities of adulthood, yet no closer to having their lives figured out. Though not for a lack of trying. Over the years they’ve reunited in Big Sur to honor a decades-old pact to throw each other living “funerals,” celebrations to remind themselves that life is worth living—that their lives mean something, to one another if not to themselves.

But this reunion is different. They’re not gathered as they were to bolster Marielle as her marriage crumbled, to lift Naomi after her parents died, or to intervene when Craig pleaded guilty to art fraud. This time, Jordan is sitting on a secret that will upend their pact.

A deeply honest tribute to the growing pains of selfhood and the people who keep us going, coupled with Steven Rowley’s signature humor and heart, The Celebrants is a moving tale about the false invincibility of youth and the beautiful ways in which friendship helps us celebrate our lives, even amid the deepest challenges of living.

 

 

Steven Rowley is the bestselling author of five novels including, Lily and the Octopus, a Washington Post Notable Book; The Editor, an NPR Best Book of the Year; The Guncle, a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor and Goodreads Choice Awards finalist for Novel of the Year; and The Celebrants. His fiction has been translated in twenty languages. He resides in Palm Springs, California.

 

THE CELEBRANTS was inspired in part by Rowley’s re-watching of Lawrence Kasdan's classic 1983 film The Big Chill early in the pandemic. “Like in the movie, I have a group of close friends from college, whom I’ve known now for more than half my life. It’s a unique experience having friends who met you as an idealistic young person and who you remain close to for your entire adult life – they understand you in a way no one else can, even more so than family in many regards. I wanted to honor these relationships by writing about a group of similar friends who have stuck by one another and also explore where these bonds could go next. Additionally, two recent events for me have been formative: I turned fifty, and I lost one of my closest friends to breast cancer. Losing a contemporary, especially in middle age, forces you to really confront your own mortality. There is something unique about friend grief that is not written about nearly enough – especially at this point in our lives. If the last few years have underscored anything, it's that time is not guaranteed. Instead of wallowing in that reality, I wanted to celebrate it. To embrace the many beautiful people in my life and tell them exactly what they mean to me. Just as the characters do here, begrudgingly sometimes, but with unconditional love, a lot of laughter and wide open hearts.”  

 

EARLY PRAISE FOR THE CELEBRANTS:

One of Buzzfeed’s Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Books of 2023
One of Electric Lit’s Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Books of Spring 2023
One of Nerd Daily’s Most Anticipated Books of 2023

"Steven Rowley is an auto-buy, and his latest novel, The Celebrants, is a testament to his trademark humor and grace. A thoughtful, heartbreaking, funny novel about love, marriage, grief, and friendship." 

—Laura Dave, author of The Last Thing He Told Me

 

"The Celebrants made me laugh and cry...and make some overdue phone calls to old friends. A timely examination of why connections matter and a powerful ode to friendship. We should all have such a pact."

Shelby Van Pelt, author of Remarkably Bright Creatures

 

"What can stave off the fear of death, or rescue you from one of life's less fatal heartbreaks? Steven Rowley, ever warm and witty, offers up lifelong friendship, and I am inclined to believe him." 

Emma Straub, author of All Adults Here and This Time Tomorrow

 

“Rowley’s novels deftly oscillate between tear-jerker and knee-slapper, books that brim with all of life’s big and small emotions, and his latest is no exception. It might just be his best yet.”

Electric Lit

"Rowley once again displays his talent at balancing humor and heart in surprising ways.”

Buzzfeed


"A tender, funny, bittersweet exploration of friendship, family, joy, grief, and what it means to be alive. I loved everything about it.”

—Allison Winn Scotch, author of The Rewind

 

 

Please note:

You can order the book on the registration page with convenience service fees. The book is also linked below, available at stores, and at the venue before the event without additional charges.

 

Mobility device access info:

While our store has ramp access to the right of the main entrance, the event space is more easily accessed by entering at Bayly Avenue. Please call the store when you arrive and we will be happy to welcome you via this entrance. This door is next to a loading zone for easy car access, and our parking lot reserved ADA spots are also close to this entrance.

Staff Pick Badge
The Celebrants: A Read with Jenna Pick (A Novel) By Steven Rowley Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593540428
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - May 30th, 2023

New York Times Bestseller
A TODAY Show #ReadWithJenna Book Club Pick

A Big Chill for our times, celebrating decades-long friendships and promises—especially to ourselves—by the bestselling and beloved author of The Guncle.


Staff Pick Badge
The Guncle By Steven Rowley Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780525542308
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 5th, 2022

Winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor
National Bestseller • Wall Street Journal Bestseller • USA Today Bestseller
An NPR Book of the Year
Finalist for the 2021 Goodreads Choice Awards


The Editor By Steven Rowley Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780525537984
Availability: Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - June 30th, 2020

From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus comes a novel about a struggling writer who gets his big break, with a little help from the most famous woman in America.


The Editor By Steven Rowley Cover Image
$27.00
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780525537960
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 2nd, 2019

From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus comes a novel about a struggling writer who gets his big break, with a little help from the most famous woman in America.


Event Category Terms: 

Event Summary: 

A Big Chill for our times, celebrating decades-long friendships and promises—especially to ourselves—by the bestselling and beloved author of The Guncle.