Laura van den Berg - THE THIRD HOTEL

Friday, October 26, 2018 - 7:00pm
4912 S Main St
Houston, TX 77002

Presented in partnership with Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts at the Lawndale Art Center

Please join us at Lawndale Arts Center to welcome author Laura van den Berg, reading with Megan Peak!

In Havana, Cuba, a widow tries to come to terms with her husband’s death—and the truth about their marriage—in Laura van den Berg’s surreal, mystifying story of psychological reflection and metaphysical mystery.

Shortly after Clare arrives in Havana, Cuba, to attend the annual Festival of New Latin American Cinema, she finds her husband, Richard, standing outside a museum. He’s wearing a white linen suit she’s never seen before, and he’s supposed to be dead. Grief-stricken and baffled, Clare tails Richard, a horror film scholar, through the newly tourist-filled streets of Havana, clocking his every move. As the distinction between reality and fantasy blurs, Clare finds grounding in memories of her childhood in Florida and of her marriage to Richard, revealing her role in his death and reappearance along the way. The Third Hotel is a propulsive, brilliantly shape-shifting novel from an inventive author at the height of her narrative powers.

Laura van den Berg is the author of two story collections, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us and The Isle of Youth, and the novel Find Me. Her fiction has received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Bard Fiction Prize, an O. Henry Award, and a MacDowell Colony fellowship. Born and raised in Florida, she lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband and dog.

Megan Peak’s debut collection Girldom chronicles coming of age as a woman: the violence of discovery, the evolution of sexuality, and the demanding yet necessary acts of self-preservation and resistance. Amid landscapes of wasps and nettle, cold moons and icy rivers, daughters navigate trauma and desire, sisters bear witness to each other’s trajectories, and girls experience worlds of both rage and tenderness. There is an impounded beauty in Girldom, the beauty of a healing wound. Compressed yet explosive, these poems shake like fists and vibrate with the seeking of voice. “I was a girl before I was anything else,” the poet writes. In the midst of the #MeToo movement, Peak’s book is timely and timeless in its confrontation of the constraints and concerns bound up in being a girl.

Megan Peak received her MFA in Poetry from The Ohio State University, where she was Poetry Editor at The Journal. Her poems have appeared in Blackbird, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, Pleiades, Ploughshares, and Verse Daily, among others. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her family and son. Read more about Megan and her poetry at


The Third Hotel: A Novel By Laura van den Berg Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374168353
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - August 7th, 2018