As part of the Anoka-Ramsey Community College Two Rivers Reading Series, Swati Avasthi will read from and discuss her novel Split, Monday, Feb. 27, 11 to 11:50 a.m. and noon to 12:50 p.m. in the Coon Rapids Campus Legacy Room. The event is free and open to the public.
In the stunning young adult debut, Split, Avasthi delivers a riveting portrait of domestic violence and its devastating aftermath. This powerfully real and emotionally intense novel was inspired by Avasthi’s experience coordinating a domestic violence legal clinic where she interviewed thousands of abuse victims who were seeking orders of protection.
“Women, men, and their children sought civil orders of protection at the clinic, and I listened to their stories,” says Avasthi.
Avasthi holds a bachelor of arts and is currently studying for a master in fine arts at the University of Minnesota. She has received a Loft’s Mentor Series Award, a Marcella DeBourg Fellowship, University of Minnesota’s GRPP, the Thomas H. Shevlin Fellowship, and her fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in the Twin Cities.
More about Split
Split tells the story of 16-year-old Jace Witherspoon, who arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian, with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father’s fist),
$3.84, and a secret. Jace tries to move on but grapples with the fact that he has left his mother behind, and an ex-girlfriend, who is keeping his secret. Jace realizes that to move forward he may need to do what scares him most—go back to confront his past.
In Split, Avasthi skillfully explores the possibility of building a new life, healing scars, and moving on after leaving an abusive situation. With an authentic voice and informed perspective, Avasthi tells an incredibly nuanced and psychologically astute story that readers will not be able to put down. Split will help raise awareness about the serious issue of domestic violence, and start important dialogue about relationships and healing.
For more information about the Two Rivers Reading Series or other literary events at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, visit AnokaRamsey.edu.