Even if it accomplished nothing else (which is not the case), Kelly Luce's first novel, Pull Me Under
, is extraordinary in that it is a book about a female human that covers adolescence and early adulthood, and yet the word "girl" and the color pink are nowhere to be seen. There is nary a high heel nor lipstick nor cocktail glass on the cover. Truly, the woman who can get a big-league publisher to avoid those stale signifiers must be a powerful one, and the powerful Luce reads from her novel Saturday at Functionally Literate. Her novel unfolds the story of a Japanese woman's repeated self-reinventions, exploring the meaning of transnational identity and the immigrant soul along the way. There's plenty of blood and bullying and slow-burning rage here, making it a story with more than enough psychic resonance for Americans feeling trepidation about the post-Jan. 20 world.
with Dan Lopez | 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 | Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts, 1905 Kentucky Ave., Winter Park | functionallyliterate.org