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Real Life and Other Fictions

Susan Coll

Warwick’s presents
Susan Coll
in conversation with Rachel McMillan

Real Life and Other Fictions

Thursday, May 30, 2024 - 4:00pm PDT

Real Life and Other Fictions
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Warwick's presents Susan Coll as she discusses her new book, Real Life and Other Fictions, in conversation with Rachel McMillan. Susan Coll is the author of six novels, including The Stager―a New York Times and Chicago Tribune Editor's Choice. Her third novel, Acceptance, was made into a television movie starring the hilarious Joan Cusack. Susan's work has appeared in publications including the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, Washingtonian magazine, Moment Magazine,,, and The Millions. She works at an independent bookstore in Washington, DC, and is currently the president of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. 

Susan Coll uses her experience as both an author and bookstore employee to deliver a big-hearted and dramatic comedy about myths, real life, and the overlap between them.

Cassie Klein has always used stories to help her fly, but now her plot points aren't lining up.

In her 50s, Cassie has already weathered more than most. She was orphaned at the age of two and has never fully understood why her DC-based parents were on a bridge in West Virginia that just so happened to collapse as they drove across it. Her search for answers prompted a failed career in journalism, and now she's an aspiring novelist teaching at a local community college waiting for her literary dreams to finally come true. She stood by her once-doting husband when his meteorology career took a nosedive, and now she has learned that the man who became an internet meme has been cheating on her.

She's had enough. She scoops up a teething puppy and embarks on a road trip that's heavy on impulse and light on planning. She's not sure where she's going, but she knows she might as well start at the beginning. What really happened to her parents all those years ago?

In this comically surreal, warmhearted journey, she encounters people she never knew existed―chief among them, an enigmatic cryptozoologist, who helps her in the quest to discover her past. And along the way, she looks for answers regarding curious sightings of a creature known as the Mothman in the months before her parents died. As the line between real life and fiction blurs, Cassie finds herself grappling with the nature of stories, myths, and who gets to write the endings.

Rachel McMillan is the author of The London Restoration, The Mozart Code, the Herringford and Watts mysteries, the Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries, and the Three Quarter Time series of contemporary Viennese romances. She is also the author of Dream, Plan, Go: A Travel Guide to Inspire Independent Adventure. Rachel lives in Toronto, Canada and is always reading.

Real Life and Other Fictions By Susan Coll Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400234141
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Muse - May 21st, 2024