Quan Barry reads from and presents her newest novel We Ride Upon Sticks, in conversation with Mona Awad, author of Bunny!
“Touching, hilarious, and deeply satisfying . . . Readers will cheer [the team] on because what they're really doing is learning to be fully and authentically themselves.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Acclaimed novelist Quan Barry delivers a tour de female force in this delightful novel. Set in the coastal town of Danvers, Massachusetts, where the accusations began that led to the 1692 witch trials, We Ride Upon Sticks follows the 1989 Danvers High School Falcons field hockey team, who will do anything to make it to the state finals—even if it means tapping into some devilishly dark powers. In chapters dense with 1980s iconography—from Heathers to "big hair"—Barry expertly weaves together the individual and collective progress of this enchanted team as they storm their way through an unforgettable season.
Helmed by good-girl captain Abby Putnam (a descendant of the infamous Salem accuser Ann Putnam) and her co-captain Jen Fiorenza (whose bleached blond “Claw” sees and knows all), the Falcons prove to be wily, original, and bold, flaunting society's stale notions of femininity in order to find their glorious true selves through the crucible of team sport and, more importantly, friendship.
Born in Saigon and raised on Boston’s north shore, Quan Barry is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the author of four poetry books; her third book, Water Puppets, won the AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and was a PEN/Open Book finalist. She has received NEA Fellowships in both fiction and poetry, and her work has appeared in such publications as Ms. and The New Yorker. Barry lives in Wisconsin.
Mona Awad is the author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize that won the Colorado Book Award, the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, and an Honorable Mention from the Arab American Book Awards. The recipient of an MFA in Fiction from Brown University and a Ph.D. in English and Creative Writing from the University of Denver, she has published work in Time, VICE, Electric Literature, McSweeney’s, Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere.