This will be a virtual event. If you’d like the Zoom link to join this event, please register here.
Join us for a virtual book launch with author Liza Nash Taylor, who will read from her debut novel, Etiquette for Runaways. A conversation with author Francine Mathews will follow. This event will be cosponsored by WriterHouse and is free to attend virtually.
About the Book: 1924. May Marshall is determined to spend the dog days of summer in self-imposed exile at her father’s farm in Keswick, Virginia. Following a naive dalliance that led to heartbreak and her expulsion from Mary Baldwin College, May returns home with a shameful secret only to find her father’s orchard is now the site of a lucrative moonshining enterprise. Despite warnings from the one man she trusts—her childhood friend Byrd—she joins her father’s illegal business. When authorities close in and her father, Henry, is arrested, May goes on the run.
May arrives in New York City, determined to reinvent herself as May Valentine and succeed on her own terms, following in her mother’s footsteps as a costume designer. The Jazz Age city glitters with both opportunity and darker temptations. From a start mending sheets at the famed Biltmore Hotel, May falls into a position designing costumes for a newly formed troupe of African American entertainers bound for Paris. Reveling in her good fortune, May will do anything for the chance to go abroad, and the lines between right and wrong begin to blur. When Byrd shows up in New York, intent upon taking May back home, she pushes him, and her past, away.
In Paris, May’s run of luck comes to a screeching halt, spiraling her into darkness as she unravels a painful secret about her past. May must make a choice: surrender to failure and addiction, or face the truth and make amends to those she has wronged. But first, she must find self-forgiveness before she can try to reclaim what her heart craves most.
About the Author: Liza Nash Taylor was a 2018 Hawthornden International Fellow and received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. The 2016 winner of the San Miguel Writer’s Conference Fiction Prize, she has had work published in Microchondria II, Gargoyle Magazine, and Deep South, among others. A native Virginian, she lives in Keswick with her husband and dogs.
About the Moderator: Stephanie Barron, who also writes as Francine Mathews, is the author of twenty-seven novels. A graduate of Princeton and Stanford, where she studied history, she was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities. She has worked as both a newspaper reporter and an intelligence analyst at the CIA. Her novel That Churchill Woman tracks the life of Jennie Jerome, the Gilded Age American who raised a famous son—Winston Churchill. The New Yorker called Jack 1939, her novel about a young Jack Kennedy spying for Roosevelt as Europe plummets toward war, “the most deliciously high-concept thriller imaginable,” while O! Magazine has included her Jane Austen Mystery Series on the list of detective fiction every woman should read. Barron’s real loves are her family, her terriers, her gardening and cooking, and finally, her needlepoint. She lives and writes in Denver, Colorado.
"Exquisitely written, Liza Nash Taylor’s Etiquette for Runaways is a powerful tale of seeking absolution and pursuing dreams. It’s a magnificent, special novel that I didn't want to end."
—Alan Hlad, international bestselling author of The Long Flight Home
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Author Photo Credits: Brett Walsh (Liza Nash Taylor), Marea Evans (Francine Mathews)