Archives par étiquette : DeFiore and Company

GETTING OUT OF SAIGON de Ralph White

The gripping and remarkable true story of author Ralph White’s desperate effort to save the entire staff of the Saigon branch of Chase Manhattan bank and their families before the city fell to the North Vietnamese Army.

GETTING OUT OF SAIGON:
How a 27-Year-Old Banker Saved 113 Vietnamese Civilians
by Ralph White
‎ Simon & Schuster, June 2022
(via Defiore & Company)

In April 1975, Ralph White was asked by his boss to transfer from the Bangkok branch of the Chase Manhattan Bank to the Saigon Branch. He was tasked with closing the branch if and when it appeared that Saigon would fall to the North Vietnamese army and ensure the safety of the senior Vietnamese employees.
But when he arrived, he realized the situation in Saigon was far more perilous than he had imagined. The senior staff members there urged him to evacuate the entire staff of the branch and their families, which was far more than he was authorized to do. Quickly he realized that no one would be safe when the city fell, and it was no longer a question of whether to evacuate but how.
GETTING OUT OF SAIGON is the remarkable story of a city on the eve of destruction and the colorful characters who respond differently to impending doom. It’s about one man’s quest to save innocent lives not because it was ordered but because it was the right thing to do.

In 1973, Ralph White joined the Chase Manhattan Bank and worked as a business development officer in Thailand and Hong Kong; during his tenure in Thailand, he was temporarily assigned to Vietnam to close the bank’s Saigon branch as the city fell. Upon return to Chase’s New York headquarters in 1981, he worked in the International Strategic Planning Division and was a Vice President when he left. Over the next twenty years, White worked as a business development officer with three foreign banks and earned an MBA at Columbia University. In 2009, he founded the Columbia Fiction Foundry, a writing workshop for alumni of Columbia University, as a shared interest group under the Office of Alumni and Development. Having served as the organization’s president for its first decade, White now serves as its Chairman. He lives in New York City and Litchfield, Connecticut.

KALEIDOSCOPE de Cecily Wong

A dazzling and heartfelt novel about two sisters caught in their parents’ ambition, the accident that brings it all crashing down, and the journey that follows, as the remaining daughter of a fashion empire sets out across the globe to challenge the stories that have always defined her.

KALEIDOSCOPE
by Cecily Wong
Dutton, Summer 2022
(via Defiore & Company)

Everybody’s heard of The Brightons. From rags to riches, sleepy Oregon to haute New York, they are the half-Chinese family that built Kaleidoscope, a glittering, ‘global bohemian’ shopping empire sourcing luxury goods from India and beyond. Statuesque, design savant, and family pet—eldest daughter Morgan Brighton is most celebrated of all. Yet despite her favored status, both within the family and in the press, nobody loves her more than Riley. Smart and nervy Riley Brighton — whose existence is forever eclipsed by her older sister’s presence. When a catastrophic event dismantles the Brightons’ world, it is Riley who’s left with questions about her family that challenge her memory, identity, and loyalty. She sets off across the globe with an unlikely companion to seek truths about the people she thought she knew best —herself included.
Using the brightly colored, shifting mosaic patterns of a kaleidoscope as its guide, and told in arresting, addictive fragments, KALEIDOSCOPE is at once a reckoning with one family’s flawed American Dream, and an examination of the precious bond between sisters. It reveals, too, the different kinds of love left to grow when tightly held stories are finally let go. At turns devastating and funny, warm and wise, sexy and transportive, Riley’s journey confronts the meaning of freedom and travel, youth and innocence, and what it looks like to belong, grieve, and love on one’s own terms.

Cecily Wong is the author of the novel Diamond Head, which was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, the recipient of an Elle Readers’ Prize, and voted a best debut of the Brooklyn Book Festival. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Review of Books, Self Magazine, Bustle, and elsewhere. She is a graduate of Barnard College and lives in New York, where she is a writer at Atlas Obscura.

MANYWHERE de Morgan Thomas

Lush and uncompromising stories about characters crossing geographical borders and gender binaries.

MANYWHERE: Stories
by Morgan Thomas
mcd/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, January 2022
(via Defiore & Company)

The nine stories in Morgan Thomas’s shimmering debut collection MANYWHERE witness Southern queer and genderqueer characters determined to find themselves reflected in the annals of history, at whatever cost. As each character traces deceit and violence through tall tales and their own pasts, their journeys reveal the porous boundaries of body, land, and history, and the sometimes ruthless awakenings of self-discovery.
A trans woman finds her independence through the purchase of a pregnancy bump. A young Virginian flees their relationship, choosing instead to immerse themselves in the life of an intersex person from colonial-era Jamestown. A young writer tries to evade the murky and violent legacy of an ancestor, who supposedly disappeared into a midwifery bag. And in the uncanny title story, a young trans person brings home a replacement daughter for their elderly father.
Winding between reinvention and remembrance, transition and transcendence, these origin stories rebound across centuries. With warm, meticulous emotional intelligence, Morgan Thomas’s MANYWHERE uncovers how the stories we borrow to understand ourselves in turn shape the people we become. Ushering in a new form of queer mythmaking, MANYWHERE introduces a storyteller of uncommon range and talent.

Morgan Thomas’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Atlantic, The Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, VICE, Joyland, Electric Literature, Ploughshares, them., and StoryQuarterly, where their story won the 2019 Fiction Prize. They are the recipient of a Bread Loaf Work-Study Grant, a Fullbright Grant, the Penny Wilkes Scholarship in Writing and the Environment, and the winner of the inaugural Southern Studies Fellowship in Arts and Letters. They have also received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Arctic Circle. A graduate of the University of Oregon MFA program, they live in Portland.

IN HER BOOTS de KJ Dell’Antonia

The new novel by New York Times bestselling author of The Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick The Chicken Sisters.

IN HER BOOTS
by KJ Dell’Antonia
Putnam, July 2022
(via Defiore & Company)

What if her mother was right about her all along? Rhett Smith fled the woman who taught her to protect her heart, hide her feelings and trust no one except herself for two decades of adventurous work, travel and reinvention, relying on her tougher alter ego, The Modern Pioneer Girl, for support and guidance, then wrote a popular book about it.
Now the MPG (aka Maggie Strong, Rhett’s pen name) is in hot demand while Rhett’s bold ex-pat life implodes with the end of her relationship and the death of her beloved grandmother. When the opportunity to step into her new fame arises, Rhett falters—and then, with her mother’s voice literally in her ear, shoves her best friend Jasmine on stage in her place.
But what seemed like a good idea at the time snowballs into chaos when the farm turns out to be headed for the auction block. Suddenly, Rhett’s mother is again in charge of her destiny, and nothing goads Rhett into impulsive action like feeling out of control—or possibly the re-appearance of her first love, now in the role of her mother’s henchman. She’ll do anything to take back her inheritance, and Jasmine, trying to escape her own disappointments, is more than willing to continue their ruse for as long as it takes. Together they concoct a scheme that will help them both recover all they’ve lost—but not exactly in the way they expect.

KJ Dell’Antonia is a writer and a regular contributor to the New York Times, where she wrote and edited the Motherlode blog from 2011 until 2016 and was a contributing editor to the Well Family section from 2016-2017. Prior to this, she was one of Slate’s XX Factor bloggers and a contributor to Slate, where she covered parenting and a broad range of subjects, from legal issues to pop culture. KJ lives in Lyme, New Hampshire, with her husband and four children.

THE SKIN AND ITS GIRL de Sarah Cypher

A girl is born with cobalt-blue skin to a Palestinian American family on the night their ancestral soap factory in Nablus is destroyed in an air strike; the family’s matriarch believes the girl embodies their sacred family history, but as she looks back from her auntie’s graveside, she recognizes a hidden queer history speaking through the folktales, echoing her fears as she faces a decision to emigrate with the woman she loves and continue the family’s cycle of exile.

THE SKIN AND ITS GIRL
by Sarah Cypher
Ballantine, Spring 2023
(via Defiore & Company)

On an early-April dawn in 2003, in a Portland hospital far from the Rummani family’s ancestral home in Palestine, a stillborn baby girl comes back to life and turns a vibrant cobalt blue. On the same day, the Rumanni’s beloved soap factory in Nablus is destroyed in a bombing. To Nuha, the girl’s great-aunt, there’s no question that this inexplicable child somehow embodies their sacred family history, when the Rummanis were among the wealthiest soap-makers and their blue soap was a symbol of a famous, unlikely love.
Decades later, still impossibly blue, Elspeth returns to the gravestone of her aunt to weave together her own story, the family legends, and the thread of Nuha’s twisting life as a queer woman who hid her identity to help the family emigrate to the US. Now, Elspeth is faced with an impossible decision of her own – whether she should stay where it’s safe or leave for the woman she loves and continue the family’s cycle of exile. Elspeth navigates this choice the only way her aunt taught her how – through lies and fables braided with the truth – looking for a path forward in the words underneath the words.
Filled with stunning images and poetic repetitions inspired by Arabic ghazals that grow like a rising tide as the plot circles in on itself, THE SKIN AND ITS GIRL is about the fictions we create to explain away the magic that surrounds us, as well as the stories that can create new magic in the world. It’s about the pressure to hide in someone else’s more conventional narrative, when finally telling your own story may be the only true survival.

Sarah Cypher is from a Lebanese American Christian family that traces its history to the Kanaan soap factory in Palestine, much like the novel’s characters. She has an MFA from Warren Wilson, and her writing has appeared in the North American Review, LEON, and Crab Orchard Review, among others. She works as a freelance editor and lives in Washington, DC with her wife. THE SKIN AND ITS GIRL is her debut novel.