Northshire Presents: Jennifer Fawcett - Beneath The Stairs - with Leslie Zemeckis

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Event date: 
Tuesday, February 22, 2022 - 6:00pm
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Author & Skidmore professor Jennifer Fawcett will join us to celebrate the release of her debut novel, in conversation with actor, writer & award-winning documentarian Leslie Zemeckis. In this spine-tingling, atmospheric mystery, a woman returns to her hometown after her childhood friend attempts suicide at a local haunted house—the same place where a traumatic incident shattered their lives twenty years ago.

Copies of this title pre-ordered from Northshire Bookstore will be signed by the author. If you would like your book personalized, please let us know in the notes field at checkout.

"A strong debut mystery-thriller from local author Jennifer Fawcett. The Octagon House has a long, bloody history, hidden deep within the woods of a small upstate NY town and holding many secrets, horrors, and even possibly ghosts. With a sleepy atmospheric feel reminiscent of The Haunting of Hill House, Fawcett raises the question–does childhood trauma create your ghosts, or are those ghosts from your childhood creating the trauma?" — Reviewed by Northshire Bookseller Kirstin Swartz

“An enthralling debut by a gifted storyteller!” —Wendy Walker, author of Don’t Look for Me

In this spine-tingling, atmospheric debut for fans of Jennifer McMahon, Simone St. James, and Chris Bohjalian, a woman returns to her hometown after her childhood friend attempts suicide at a local haunted house—the same place where a traumatic incident shattered their lives twenty years ago.

Few in sleepy Sumner’s Mills have stumbled across the Octagon House hidden deep in the woods. Even fewer are brave enough to trespass. A man had killed his wife and two young daughters there, a shocking, gruesome crime that the sleepy upstate New York town tried to bury. One summer night, an emboldened fourteen-year-old Clare and her best friend, Abby, ventured into the Octagon House. Clare came out, but a piece of Abby never did.

Twenty years later, an adult Clare receives word that Abby has attempted suicide at the Octagon House and now lies in a coma. With little to lose and still grieving after a personal tragedy, Clare returns to her roots to uncover the darkness responsible for Abby’s accident.

An eerie page-turner, Beneath the Stairs is about the trauma that follows us from childhood to adulthood and returning to the beginning to reach the end.

Jennifer Fawcett grew up in rural Eastern Ontario and spent many years in Canada making theatre before coming to the United States. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. Her work has been published in Third Coast Magazine, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Storybrink, and in the anthology Long Story Short. She teaches writing at Skidmore College and lives in upstate New York with her husband and son.

Leslie Zemeckis is a best-selling author, actress, and award-winning documentarian. Leslie’s critically acclaimed films include Behind the Burly Q, the true story of old-time burlesque in America which ran on Showtime. The film, championed by such publications as USA Today and The New Yorker, reveals the never-before told stories of the men and women who worked in burlesque during its Golden Age; Bound by Flesh about Siamese twin superstars Daisy and Violet Hilton which debuted at number 5 on Netflix, and the award-winning Mabel, Mabel, Tiger Trainer chronicling the extraordinary world of the first female tiger trainer, Mabel Stark, in the early part of the 20th century. Her newest film is Grandes Horizontales. Zemeckis is the author of three best-sellers, Behind the Burly Q, the definitive oral history of burlesque, Goddess of Love Incarnate; the Life of Stripteuse Lili St. Cyr and Feuding Fan Dancers, about Sally Rand, Faith Bacon and the golden age of the showgirl (a SCIBA finalist for biography). Honored for her work inspiring women, in 2022 Zemeckis will be awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in part for “sharing and preserving stories of women who were once marginalized and stigmatized . . .” but due to her work “these women are now celebrated for their independence and personal agency.” 


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Beneath the Stairs: A Novel By Jennifer Fawcett Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781982177157
Published: Atria Books - February 22nd, 2022

Feuding Fan Dancers: Faith Bacon, Sally Rand, and the Golden Age of the Showgirl By Leslie Zemeckis Cover Image
ISBN: 9781640092655
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Counterpoint - October 8th, 2019

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