[Zoom Event] Talking Animals: Joni Murphy in conversation with Johanna Stoberock
Joni Murphy will discuss her book, Talking Animals, with Johanna Stoberock, award winning author of Pigs.
Use this link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89741802343
About the book
A fable for our times, Joni Murphy's Talking Animals takes place in an all-animal world where creatures rather like us are forced to deal with an all-too-familiar landscape of soul-crushing jobs, polluted oceans, and a creeping sense of doom.
It's New York City, nowish. Lemurs brew espresso. Birds tend bar. There are bears on Wall Street, and a billionaire racehorse is mayor. Sea creatures are viewed with fear and disgust and there's chatter about building a wall to keep them out.
Alfonzo is a moody alpaca. His friend Mitchell is a sociable llama. They both work at City Hall, but their true passions are noise music and underground politics. Partly to meet girls, partly because the world might be ending, these lowly bureaucrats embark on an unlikely mission to expose the corrupt system that's destroying the city from within. Their project takes them from the city's bowels to its extremities, where they encounter the Sea Equality Revolutionary Front, who are either a group of dangerous radicals or an inspiring liberation movement.
In this novel, at last, nature kvetches and grieves, while talking animals offer us a kind of solace in the guise of dumb jokes. This is mass extinction as told by BoJack Horseman. This is The Fantastic Mr. Fox journeying through Kafka's Amerika. This is dogs and cats, living together. Talking Animals is an urgent allegory about friendship, art, and the elemental struggle to change one's life under the low ceiling of capitalism.
About Joni Murphy:
Joni Murphy is a writer from New Mexico who lives in New York. Her debut novel Double Teenage was published in 2016. It was named one of The Globe and Mail's 100 Best Books of 2016. Her new novel, Talking Animals, was published in August 2020.
About Johanna Stoberock
Johanna Stoberock is the author of the novels Pigs (Red Hen Press) and City of Ghosts (W.W. Norton). The 2019 recipient of the Artist Trust/Gar LaSalle Storyteller Award, 2016 Runner Up for the Italo Calvino Prize for Fiction, and a 2012 Jack Straw Fellow, Johanna has received residencies at the Corporation of Yaddo, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Millay Colony. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Review of Books, Lit Hub, the Best of the Net Anthology, and elsewhere. She lives in Walla Walla, where she teaches in the Composition and First Year programs at Whitman College.
"Joni Murphy’s inventive and beautiful allegory depicts a city enmeshed in climate collapse, blinded to the signs of its imminent destruction by petty hatreds and monstrous greed: that is, the world we are living in now.
*Featured on TODAY with Hoda and Jenna, as recommended by Read With Jenna book club author Megha Majumdar*
*STARRED BOOKLIST REVIEW*