Booksmith presents Leni Zumas / Red Clocks

Event has passed (Thu Jan 18, 2018 - Thu Jan 18, 2018)
The Booksmith
07:30pm - 09:00pm


Life, liberty and property: for every embryo.

This is the effect of the Personhood Amendment, passed by a new president with big ideas. Not only does the Personhood Amendment outlaw abortion (and threaten anyone involved in the act with a charge of second-degree murder), it also prohibits in vitro fertilization and adoption by unmarried persons.

Booksmith is thrilled to help Leni Zumas launch her highly-anticipated novel Red Clocks, one of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Literary Books of the season! Please join us. This is a free event, but space is limited; purchasing a ticket here reserves you a seat and includes a copy of the book.

More about the book:

In Red Clocks, four women in Newville, Oregon, are left to navigate this new landscape: Ro, a biographer desperate to have a baby while writing the untold story of a female polar explorer; Susan, a mother trapped in suburbia with an extremely difficult husband; Mattie, an adopted teenager who finds herself pregnant and unwilling to allow her unborn child to wonder why it wasnt wanted; and Gin, a forest-dwelling mender whose witchcraft somehow weaves its way into each womans life.

As the aftershocks of the Personhood Amendment wreak havoc in the small Oregon town, Gin is suddenly arrested for medical malpractice; and, in yet another echo of the past, a modern-day witch hunt ensues. As the trial begins, the town is faced with questions: What is a woman for? Who controls her body? What does it mean to become a mother? What is your place in the world if you choose not to have a child?

In a novel both vividly revolutionary and achingly familiar, Leni Zumas invites the reader to reexamine preconceived notions of power in a society where womens bodies are controlled by the government. Through the eyes of high school teachers, stay-at-home mothers, aspiring marine biologists, and town misfits, Zumas wondrously paints the story of modern women reckoning with deeply conservative values.

A breathtakingly imaginative story, Red Clocks publishes just before the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. This book arrives at a time when readers are desperate for stories that parallel a world they know, a world in which horrors are legitimated in public daylight, against the will of most of the people.

"I have never read stories like Leni Zumas' before and I cant get them out of my head. Her language is real sorceryit dismantles the world you think you know and takes you to strange, fecund territories of the imagination. Sentence by sentence, Leni creates worlds so vivid and fever-bright that you forget youre reading words on a page and begin to see real plums, scars, black stars lashed to the bottom of canoes. Her characters are girls and boys in bad trouble, who feel as close to you and as far from you as the black sheep in your own family." – Karen Russell, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction finalist for Swamplandia!

Leni Zumas is the author of the story collection Farewell Navigator and the novel The Listeners, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. She is an associate professor in the MFA program in creative writing at Portland State University.

RSVP appreciated but not required. If you'd like a signed copy of Red Clocks but can't attend the event, order the book below and include your request in the Special Fields.



  1. The Booksmith 1644 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA