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Charis welcomes Olivia Wolfgang-Smith in conversation with Christopher Gonzalez for a celebration of Glassworks, a gorgeously written and irresistibly intimate queer novel that follows one family across four generations to explore legacy and identity in all its forms.
In 1910, Agnes Carter makes the wrong choice in marriage. After years as an independent woman of fortune, influential with the board of a prominent university because of her financial donations, she is now subject to the whims of an abusive, spendthrift husband. But when Bohemian naturalist and glassblower Ignace Novak reignites Agnes's passion for science, Agnes begins to imagine a different life, and she sets her mind to getting it.
Agnes's desperate actions breed secrecy, and the resulting silence echoes into the future. Her son, Edward, wants to be a man of faith but struggles with the complexities of the mortal world while apprenticing at a stained-glass studio.
In 1986, Edward's child, Novak-just Novak-is an acrobatic window washer cleaning Manhattan high-rises, who gets caught up in the plight of Cecily, a small town girl remade as a gender-bending Broadway ingénue.
And in 2015, Cecily's daughter Flip-a burned-out stoner trapped in a bureaucratic job firing cremains into keepsake glass ornaments-resolves to break the cycle of inherited secrets, reaching back through the generations in search of a family legacy that feels true.
Olivia Wolfgang-Smith’s fiction has appeared in Salamander, Ninth Letter, The Common, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida State University. She originally hails from Rhode Island and lives in Brooklyn with her spouse. Glassworks is her first novel.
Christopher Gonzalez is the author of I’m Not Hungry but I Could Eat (SFWP 2021). A 2021 NYFA/NYSCA Artist Fellow in Fiction, his writing appears in Astra Magazine, Poets & Writers online, the Nation, Catapult, Best Microfictions, and Best Small Fictions, among other journals and anthologies. He currently serves as a fiction editor for Barrelhouse magazine and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
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A gorgeously written and irresistibly intimate queer novel that follows one family across four generations to explore legacy and identity in all its forms.
A Goodreads Buzziest Debut Novel of 2023
Long nights, empty stomachs, and impulsive cravings haunt the stories of I’m Not Hungry But I Could Eat.