Author Event: Brendan Kiely's "Tradition" and Jessie Chaffee's "Florence in Ecstasy"

Join us as we welcome Brendan Kiely, author of the new YA novel Tradition, and Jessie Chaffee, author of Florence in Ecstasy, her debut novel.

Tradition takes place at Fullbrook Academy, where two outsiders--Jules Devereux, a whip-smart, confident rabble-rouser, and James Baxter, a tough yet sensitive kid on a hockey scholarship--become friends as they learn just how dangerous the school’s old-boy, misogynistic traditions can be. Tradition is a novel about male privilege, consent, and finding the courage to do what is right.

Brendan Kiely is the New York Times bestselling author of All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), The Last True Love Story, and The Gospel of Winter. His work has been published in ten languages and received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor and other awards. Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife, Jessie Chaffee, in Greenwich Village. Find him at

Set in modern-day Italy but calling to mind E. M. Forster, Jean Rhys, and Elena Ferrante, Jessie Chaffee’s Florence in Ecstasy presents an arresting new vision of a woman’s attempt to find meaning in an unstable world. Hannah, a young American woman, arrives in Florence from Boston after a bout of starvation that has left her life and body in ruins. She is determined to recover in Florence, where she is torn between the city's vibrant present and the lore of the women of its past—particularly the Catholic mystical saints, deified for their ecstatic visions and for starving themselves for God. Florence in Ecstasy (Unnamed Press, 2017) was a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2017 and is forthcoming in translation in five countries.

Jessie Chaffee was awarded a Fulbright grant to Italy to complete her novel and was the writer-in-residence at Florence University of the Arts. Her writing has appeared in Literary Hub, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Slice, and Global City Review, among others. She lives in New York City, where she works for Words Without Borders, a magazine of international literature. Find her at

Event date: 
Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
City Lit Books
2523 N. Kedzie Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60647
Tradition Cover Image
ISBN: 9781481480345
Availability: Out of stock, usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - May 2018

Florence in Ecstasy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781944700171
Availability: Out of stock, usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Unnamed Press - May 16th, 2017