Virtual! The Promise of a Normal Life, with Rebecca Kaiser Gibson

Thursday, February 9th, 7pm ET, online only via Zoom. Registration required:

Gibson with Gibson's! The name is a happy accident, but we're thrilled to have an author alliteration. New Hampshire author Rebecca Kaiser Gibson (Girl as Birch) visits Gibson's Bookstore virtually to present her new novel, The Promise of a Normal Life.

Did you miss this event? Watch the event recording on the Gibson's Bookstore Youtube channel!

For readers of Marilynne Robinson, Elizabeth Strout, and Katie Kitamura, the indelible journey of a quiet young woman—the “silent person” in the Seder—finding her way.  

Hailed as “radiant and transporting” (Margot Livesey), The Promise of a Normal Life is a poet’s debut novel, so evocative of life as lived that it transports you to a time and place you can practically see, touch, and feel. The unnamed narrator is a fiercely observant, introverted Jewish-American girl who seems to exist in a private and separate realm. She's the child of a first-generation doctor and lawyer—whose own stories have the loud grandeur of family legend—in an America where Jews are excluded from the country club across the street. Her expectations for adulthood are often contradictory. In the changing landscape of the 1960s, she attempts to find her way through the rituals of life, her geography expanding across the country, across the ocean, and into multiple nations. 

Along the way, she meets a glamorous hairdresser on a cruise ship to Israel, loopy tarot-card-reading passengers, and Alice-in-Wonderland lawyers in Haifa. There’s a blue-eyed all-American college boyfriend, a mystified tourist agent in the Lofoten Islands, a handsome eligible rabbi in LA, a righteous and self-absorbed MIT professor, and a clandestine, calculating lover in Boston. Eventually, she finds her own compass, but only after being swept to several distant shores by many winds.

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About the Author

Rebecca Kaiser Gibson is the author of the poetry collections Girl as Birch and Opinel. Her work has appeared in SlateAgni, the Los Angeles Review of BooksNorthwest Review, the Massachusetts ReviewTupelo QuarterlyHarvard ReviewGreen Mountain ReviewPleiades, and many other magazines. She taught creative writing at Tufts University for twenty-three years and has received writing fellowships from MacDowell, Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She lives in Marlborough, NH.

Event date: 
Thursday, February 9, 2023 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Concord, NH 03301
The Promise of a Normal Life: A Novel By Rebecca Kaiser Gibson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781956763331
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arcade - February 7th, 2023

For readers of Marilynne Robinson, Elizabeth Strout, and Katie Kitamura, the indelible journey of a quiet young woman—the “silent person” in the Seder—finding her way.

Girl as Birch: Poems By Rebecca Kaiser Gibson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780872333338
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bauhan Pub - March 18th, 2022

In Girl as Birch, Gibson mimics the flexible (adaptable? too pliant? healthily, if secretly, resilient, then, finally, aligned) motion of a birch in strong wind, as it relates to the options seemingly available to her, growing up as a girl. The poems imitate in form the experiences they evoke.