Fountain Fix: Coffee Break with Rufi Thorpe

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An Entertainment Weekly, Parade, and LitHub Most Anticipated Book of 2020

"[An] electric portrait of adolescence."

"The Knockout Queen [is] full of verve and sketched in colors as vibrant as a Tilt-A-Whirl David Hockney landscape... Thorpe inverts the more common tale of an impoverished sufferer who is momentarily saved or mourned by a richer, more stable friend. The result is revelatory."

--Hillary Kelly, Los Angeles Times

"Rufi Thorpe unfurls a coming of-age tale that feels both fresh and familiar: a shrewd exploration of all the ways people find to pass on the hurt and anger they've been given and a tender, furious ode to the connections that somehow still endure, despite everything. A-"

--Entertainment Weekly

About the book: Bunny Lampert is the princess of North Shore--beautiful, tall, blond, with a rich real-estate-developer father and a swimming pool in her backyard. Michael--with a ponytail down his back and a septum piercing--lives with his aunt in the cramped stucco cottage next door. When Bunny catches Michael smoking in her yard, he discovers that her life is not as perfect as it seems. At six foot three, Bunny towers over their classmates. Even as she dreams of standing out and competing in the Olympics, she is desperate to fit in, to seem normal, and to get a boyfriend, all while hiding her father's escalating alcoholism. Michael has secrets of his own. At home and at school Michael pretends to be straight, but at night he tries to understand himself by meeting men online for anonymous encounters that both thrill and scare him. When Michael falls in love for the first time, a vicious strain of gossip circulates and a terrible, brutal act becomes the defining feature of both his and Bunny's futures--and of their friendship.

Rufi Thorpe received her MFA from the University of Virginia in 2009. Her first novel, The Girls from Corona del Mar, was long listed for the 2014 International Dylan Thomas Prize and for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. Her second novel, Dear Fang, With Love, was published by Knopf in May 2016. She lives in California with her husband and two sons.

Event date: 

Monday, May 25, 2020 - 2:00pm

Event address: 

Online on Crowdcast
Staff Pick Badge
The Knockout Queen: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525656784
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - April 28th, 2020