The Good Mother of Marseille comes to San Francisco!

Join us on June 4, 2019 at 6pm at Book Passage Ferry Building for an author-publisher conversation to celebrate the publication of Christopher X. Shade’s debut novel The Good Mother of Marseille, a story of Americans searching the French port city of Marseille for themselves. The author will be in conversation with Aileen Cassinetto, who is publisher of Paloma Press and Poet Laureate of San Mateo County, discussing the book, the importance of art and experience across borders, and the influences of poetry in our lives and work.

In the novel, it’s the summer of 2013 in Marseille, in the year of its designation as the European Capital of Culture — tourists come to see. Americans wander and sightsee this dangerous, impoverished yet seductive city. Noémie, an anthropology student, wants to stay. She wants to make the gritty graffiti-covered neighborhood of Cours Julien her home, but she’s running out of time, money, and her university sponsor’s patience.

Publisher Aileen Cassinetto is the third Poet Laureate of San Mateo County, the first Asian American appointed to the post. She is the author of Traje de Boda (Meritage Press, 2010) and The Pink House of Purple Yam Preserves & Other Poems (Our Own Voice & Little Dove Books, 2018), as well as three chapbooks through Moria Books’ acclaimed Locofo series.

Author Christopher X. Shade is co-founder and co-editor of Cagibi, at, a journal of poetry and prose. His stories and book reviews have appeared widely, and he has won story awards including the 2016 Writers at Work fellowship competition. He teaches fiction and poetry writing at The Writers Studio. Raised in the South, he now lives with his wife in New York City.

The Good Mother of Marseille is a beautiful and memorable debut, a melancholy tale of both lost and found, a love letter to the night-lights of France, a movable feast for this 21st century.” —Scott Cheshire, author of High as the Horses’ Bridle

“A remarkable work of imagination, a debut novel that not only introduces us to a gifted writer of fiction, but offers a beguiling glimpse into the zeitgeist of a generation’s appetite for the exotic and the mysterious. In the Hemingway tradition, its many linked stories gel into one compelling story of Americans abroad. Shade’s sensitivity toward his characters is infectious, and, quite frankly, unforgettable.” —Philip Schultz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author most recently of Luxury and The Wherewithal: A Novel in Verse

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