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A Conversation with Sasha Paulsen

  • Napa Bookmine 964 Pearl Street Napa, CA 94559 (map)

Join me on Wednesday, June 26 for a conversation with Sasha Paulsen about her debut novel, Dancing on the Spider’s Web.

Set in the 1970s, in the chaotic times Sasha calls "The Winter after the Summer of Love," Dancing on the Spider's Web is narrated by Sarah Glass, a med student. She wins a prize for being outstanding and decides to give herself a month to live away from schools, hospitals and laboratories. She lands in San Francisco. Although she has long wondered if love is incompatible with relationships, she finds herself in romantic encounters with Gabriel Dinesen, a free-spirited charmer she meets on the street, and with Rory McIntyre, for whom she suffered a long-ago high school crush and who is now a struggling single father. Her subsequent adventures take her back to Napa, where she grew up in the 1960s, and to Mexico, home of her grandparents. Along the way, she learns things she might never have discovered in labs with cadavers -- and before she returns to school she has a vastly revised attitude towards just about everything, including love.

"In Dancing on the Spider's Web, Sasha Paulsen weaves her own irresistible web. Her characters are so alive in their complexity and her prose is so vivid that I began to believe Sarah, Gabriel and Rory must be living just down the street. All I wanted was to find out what they would do next.  A sparkling and utterly engrossing debut.” —MARGOT LIVESEY  New York Times bestselling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

"A funny, joyful story of young love lost and found again in the tumultuous time of Haight-Ashbury. You'll adore Sasha Paulsen’s quirky band of misfits, especially Sarah, who fears love even as she chases it. A touching debut novel that takes you back to a bygone era when seeking mattered more than finding.” —SANDRA DALLAS, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Midwife

"Sasha Paulsen has set her debut novel in San Francisco, Napa and Berkeley in the pivotal '70s. She manages to deftly capture both the spirit of those times and the essence of a cast of zany, appealing characters. Highly recommended." —JAMES CONAWAY, author of Napa, The Far Side of Eden, and Napa at Last Light

After studying journalism at UC Berkeley, Sasha Paulsen lived and worked in Europe and New England before returning to her hometown, Napa, California. While raising her two children, with the help of their dog, Pippi, she was features editor for The Napa Valley Register where she wrote about food, wine, art, and travel. Dancing on the Spider’s Web is her first novel.