2201 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, California 94704

ELLIS AVERY takes us to THE TEAHOUSE FIRE. Ellis Avery’s absorbing and lushly detailed debut novel begins in 1866, at the dawn of one of the most historically significant times in modern history: Japan opening its doors to the West. Her beloved mother on her deathbed, nine-year-old Aurelia Bernard is sent from New York City to Kyoto with her Uncle Charles, a missionary on assignment to Christianize Japan. An orphan whose future with her abusive uncle promises misery, Aurelia makes a wish: Any life but this one. That night, Aurelia’s uncle dies in a fire that sweeps the city. Fleeing the conflagration, she takes shelter in the Baishian teahouse. Unaware of the mysterious building’s purpose, her life, as well as the culture of her adopted country, is about to change forever. Part atmospheric historical fiction, part love story, THE TEAHOUSE FIRE follows in the tradition of Memoirs of a Geisha and The Crimson Petal and The White. Ellis Avery studied Japanese tea ceremony for five years in New York and Kyoto, and teaches creative writing at Columbia University. She will offer a mini tea ceremony this evening. 7:00 PM at Cody’s Fourth Street, Berkeley

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Added by codysbooks on January 3, 2007