ECKLEBURG BOOK CLUB | Landfall by Ellen Urbani

Landfall-Cover-FINAL-web-sized-copy


The destinies of two families converge in Landfall, an elegant page-turner set during Hurricane Katrina. Eighteen-year-olds Rose and Rosy haven’t met but they share a birth year, a name, and a bloody pair of sneakers. Rose’s quest to atone for her mother’s lethal crash unfolds alongside Rosy’s battle to escape the flooding and chaos in New Orleans. These unforgettable characters give voice to the dead of the storm while exposing how our preconceived notions can blind us to what matters most.


What People Are Saying about Landfall

With her new novel LANDFALL, Ellen Urbani enters the world of American fiction with a bang and a flourish. She brings back the terrible Hurricane Katrina that tore some of the heart out of the matchless city of New Orleans, but did not lay a finger on its soul. Her descriptions of the flooding of the Ninth Ward are Faulknerian in their powers.
– Pat Conroy, THE PRINCE OF TIDES

Ellen Urbani has written an amazing and original piece of literature. If you love family sagas characterized by women holding the generations together via a magical combination of grit and grace, such as Isabel Allende’s HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS, you will love this haunting book!
– Fannie Flagg, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AT THE WHISTLE STOP CAFE

A gorgeous and raw rendering of a young woman’s struggle for redemption, for forgiveness, for salvation, in the aftermath of the devastating catastrophe of Katrina. LANDFALL is not about a storm; it is about the resiliency of the human spirit, and our ongoing need to make sense of the world around us, no matter the cost.
– Garth Stein, THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN


Publisher’s Information

  • PUBLISHER: Forest Avenue Press
  • ISBN: 978-0-9882657-7-6
  • DIMENSIONS: 6X9
  • PAGES: 300]
  • PRICE: $15.95
  • RELEASE DATE: 08/11/2015
  • PURCHASE HERE

  • Recommended Works by Ellen Urbani

    Favorite Eckleburg Work: http://eckleburg.org/eckleburg-book-club-the-little-free-library-book-by-margaret-aldrich/

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    Two outsiders venture here: a fallen priest and the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners’ pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, honesty and corruption—ultimately revealing shocking secrets of her own.
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    Discussion Questions for Landfall

    1. In her 2006 memoir When I Was Elena, Ellen wrote half the chapters in the voice of indigenous Guatemalan women. In Landfall, she writes half the book from the point of view of an African American girl. What might be the authorial challenges and rewards of immersing oneself so deeply in the perspective of another so as to write with authority in that person’s voice?

    2. Prior to leaving the medical field to focus on a writing career, Ellen worked as an oncology counselor, specifically focusing on work with end-of-life patients and children whose parents were dying. She also trained as a psychiatric/disaster relief specialist with the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA.) Can you see that background reflected in the pages of Landfall?

    3. In the New York Times Sunday Book Review, Jennifer Szalai wrote of Hurricane Katrina, “The actual words of the actual survivors are devastating already, and a novelist who dares to create a fictional version of their experience has also taken it upon himself to issue more than a swell of emotion. The citizens of New Orleans were failed by government officials in thrall to foolish optimism and best-case scenarios; what fiction offers is the potential to confront such lazy habits of thinking with a relentless focus on complexity and nuance.” Do you believe Landfall achieves that?


    About Ellen Urbani

    Ellen Urbani is the author of Landfall, a work of historical fiction set in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and the memoir When I Was Elena, a Book Sense Notable selection documenting her life in Guatemala during the final years of that country’s civil war. She has a bachelor’s degree from The University of Alabama and a master’s degree from Marylhurst University. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times and numerous anthologies, and has been widely excerpted. She’s reviewed books for The Oregonian, served as a federal disaster/trauma specialist, and has lectured nationally on this topic. Her work has been profiled in the Oscar-qualified short documentary film Paint Me a Future. A Southern expat now residing in Oregon, her pets will always be dawgs and her truest allegiance will always reside with the Crimson Tide.




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    The destinies of two families converge in Landfall, an elegant page-turner set during Hurricane Katrina. Eighteen-year-olds Rose and Rosy haven’t met but they share a birth year, a name, and a bloody pair of sneakers. Rose’s quest to atone for her mother’s lethal crash unfolds alongside Rosy’s battle to escape the flooding and chaos in New Orleans. These unforgettable characters give voice to the dead of the storm while exposing how our preconceived notions can blind us to what matters most.

    The Editors