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Bookshop to celebrate launch of Staunton author Clifford Garstang’s new novel

Crystal Graham

clifford garstang last birds of paradiseNew Dominion Bookshop in Charlottesville will host a book reading and signing with Staunton author Clifford Garstang on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.

Garstang will be reading from his new novel, The Last Bird of Paradise. A conversation with author Jay Kauffmann will follow.

This in-person event will be cosponsored by WriterHouse and will be free to attend and open to the public.

The book is about two women — a New York lawyer and an English artist — reluctantly move to Singapore during times of upheaval at home. In 2002, in the aftermath of 9/11, Aislinn Givens leaves her law firm to join her husband in Southeast Asia. While rebuilding her legal career in a venerable local firm, she encounters mysterious paintings by Elizabeth Pennington, an Englishwoman who fled to Singapore in 1914 at the onset of World War I. Through interwoven narratives, The Last Bird of Paradise explores the resentment caused by colonial and neocolonial exploitation and the resulting violence that engulfs these women and the men they love.

Garstang is the author of additional novels including Oliver’s Travels and The Shaman of Turtle Valley, as well as the short story collections House of the Ancients and Other Stories, In an Uncharted Country and What the Zhang Boys Know, winner of the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Fiction.

A former international lawyer, he is also the editor of the anthology series Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet and the cofounder and former editor of Prime Number Magazine.

Kauffmann is a former international model, travel writer and award-winning poet. He attended Brandeis University and the University of California, Berkeley, and holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He has taught at Randolph College, the University of Virginia and the Miller School of Albemarle.

Author of The Mexican Messiah and Other Stories (forthcoming from Cornerstone Press), he was runner-up for the 2023 Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

His work has appeared in CutBank, Hunger Mountain Review, Prime Number, The Writer’s Chronicle, upstreet, Mid-American Review and other journals and anthologies.

New Dominion Bookshop is lcoated at 404 E Main St. in Charlottesville.

For more information, visit ndbookshop.com.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.