An Evening with #1 Bestselling Author of Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng! In Conversation with Acclaimed Writer Maggie Smith!

Friday, October 28, 2022 - 7:00pm
CCAD's Canzani Auditorium
Cleveland Avenue and East Gay Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Join the number one bestselling author of Little Fires EverywhereCeleste Ng as she launches Our Missing Hearts, a deeply suspenseful and heartrending novel about the unbreakable love between a mother and child in a society consumed by fear. Ng will be in conversation with acclaimed poet and essayist Maggie Smith!

Registration for this in-person program is on Eventbrite. A ticket includes a copy of Our Missing Hearts and is $31 with tax.

COLUMBUS COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN and OHIOANA LIBRARY are Gramercy’s Community Partners in presenting this program.

At the author's request, proof of vaccination and masks are required to attend this program.

Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in a university library. Bird knows to not ask too many questions, stand out too much, or stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve “American culture” in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic—including the work of Bird’s mother, Margaret, a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was nine years old.

Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn’t know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn’t wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is pulled into a quest to find her. His journey will take him back to the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York City, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.

Our Missing Hearts is an old story made new, of the ways supposedly civilized communities can ignore the most searing injustice. It’s a story about the power—and limitations—of art to create change, the lessons and legacies we pass on to our children, and how any of us can survive a broken world with our hearts intact. 

Celeste Ng is the number one New York Times bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires EverywhereOur Missing Hearts will be published by Penguin Books on October 4. Ng is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, and her work has been published in over thirty languages. 

Maggie Smith is the author of several books, including Good Bones and the national bestsellers Goldenrod and Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change. Her memoir, You Could Make This Place Beautiful, will be published by One Signal/Atria in April 2023. Smith’s poems and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Paris Review, Tin House, The Washington Post, The Nation, and The Best American Poetry. She is on the MFA faculty of the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing at Spalding University and serves as an editor at large for Kenyon Review.