We are psyched to welcome one of our favorite people in the world, Amy Stewart, back to BookPeople. We’re huge fans of Wicked Plants, Wicked Bugs, and the wonderfully brilliant, The Drunken Botanist, and we’re thrilled to celebrate her move over to the fiction genre with Girl Waits With Gun on Wednesday, October 7 at 7PM.
As evidenced in her early books, Amy Stewart has some weird interests: earthworms (The Earth Moved), toxic bouquets (Flower Confidential), poisonous vegetation (Wicked Plants) and murderous insects (Wicked Bugs).
This affinity for weirdness is something we have in common.
Truth is surely stranger than fiction, and Girl Waits With Gun is a story drawn from the real-life Kopp sisters, who in 1914 found themselves pitted against factory owner Henry Kaufman, their names in headlines, after he crashed his car into their buggy on a busy New Jersey streetcorner. The women were all thrown and their vehicle shattered, yet Kaufman, used to having things his way, refused to take responsiblity. Instead, he and his pack of pampered goons set about a campaign of intimidation and extortion to silence the women’s demands for restitution.
“It’s a historical setting almost disheartening in its timeliness. Kaufman’s bullying tactics (verified by court records down to the last threatening letter, because sometimes you can’t make this stuff up) are all too familiar to many of today’s women who have asserted themselves in public.” –NPR
Nevertheless, amid gunshots, thrown bricks and extortion, the Sisters Kopp hold down their farmhouse, even making time for some excellent sleuthing in order to dig up the real backstory on Kaufman.
PRAISE FOR GIRL WAITS WITH GUN
“Stewart crafts a solid, absorbing novel based on real-life events though they’re unusual enough to seem invented. Stewart deftly tangles and then unwinds a complicated plot with nice period detail…More adventures involving gutsy Constance, quietly determined Sheriff Heath, and a lively cast of supporting characters would be most welcome.” –Kirkus, starred
“A smart, romping adventure, featuring some of the most memorable and powerful female characters I’ve seen in print for a long time. I loved every page as I followed the Kopp sisters through a too-good-to-be-true (but mostly true!) tale of violence, courage, stubbornness, and resourcefulness.” -Elizabeth Gilbert
“Stewart has spun a fine, historically astute novel…[Constance] develops believably into a woman who comes into herself, discovering powers long smothered under shame and resignation. I, for one, would like to see her return to wield them again in further installments.” -Katherine A. Powers, The New York Times
ABOUT AMY STEWART
Amy Stewart is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the American Horticulture Society’s Book Award, and an International Association of Culinary Professionals Food Writing Award. In 2012, she was invited to be the first Tin House Writer-in-Residence, a partnership with Portland State University, where she taught in the MFA program. Her books have been translated into twelve languages, and two of them – Wicked Plants and Wicked Bugs – have been adapted into national traveling exhibits that appear at botanical gardens and museums nationwide. She lives in Eureka, California, with her husband Scott Brown, who is a rare book dealer. They own a bookstore called Eureka Books that is housed in a classic nineteenth-century Victorian building that Amy very much hopes is haunted.
We hope you will be here when we welcome Amy Wednesday, October 7 at 7PM here at BookPeople! Of course, if you can’t make it, we’re happy to have a copy signed for you. We’re taking pre-orders for signed, personalized copies of Girl Waits With Gun over on our website.
Until then, some more Amy Stewart weirdness: