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Powell's Books Presents Antoine Wilson in Conversation With Yiyun Li
In a first-class lounge at JFK airport, our narrator listens as Jeff Cook, a former classmate he only vaguely remembers, shares the uncanny story of his adult life — a life that changed course years before, the moment he resuscitated a drowning man. Jeff reveals that after that traumatic, galvanizing morning on the beach, he was compelled to learn more about the man whose life he had saved, convinced that their fates were now entwined. But are we agents of our fate — or are we its pawns? Upon discovering that the man is renowned art dealer Francis Arsenault, Jeff begins to surreptitiously visit his Beverly Hills gallery. Although Francis does not seem to recognize him as the man who saved his life, he nevertheless casts his legendary eye on Jeff and sees something worthy. He takes the younger man under his wing, initiating him into his world, where knowledge, taste, and access are currency; a world where value is constantly shifting and calling into question what is real, and what matters. The paths of the two men come together and diverge in dizzying ways until the novel’s staggering ending. Sly, suspenseful, and engrossing, Antoine Wilson’s Mouth to Mouth (Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster) masterfully blurs the line between opportunity and exploitation, self-respect and self-delusion, fact and fiction — exposing the myriad ways we deceive each other, and ourselves. Wilson will be joined in conversation by Yiyun Li, author of Where Reasons End and Must I Go.

Jan 12, 2022 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Antoine Wilson
Antoine Wilson is the author of the novels Panorama City and The Interloper. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, StoryQuarterly, Best New American Voices, and The Los Angeles Times, among other publications, and he is a contributing editor of A Public Space. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and recipient of a Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin, he lives in Los Angeles. His website is: AntoineWilson.com
Yiyun Li
Yiyun Li is the author of eight books, including Where Reasons End, which received the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and her most recent, Tolstoy Together: 85 Days of War and Peace With Yiyun Li. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, and Windham-Campbell Prize, among other honors. A contributing editor to A Public Space, she teaches at Princeton University.