Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

Monsoon Mansion Book Launch Party with Cinelle Barnes, Tues., May 1, 6 pm

Join us at the Charleston Library Society (164 King Street) on Tues., May 1, 6 pm as local author Cinelle Barnes will be joined in conversation with Jeanette Guinn, the Host of S.C. Public Radio Arts Daily, to discuss her incredible memoir, Monsoon Mansion (Little A, hb., 252 pp., $25).

To RSVP, please call 843-723-9912 or email [email protected]

Cinelle Barnes was barely three years old when her family moved into Mansion Royale, a stately ten-bedroom home in the Philippines. Filled with her mother’s opulent social aspirations and the gloriously excessive evidence of her father’s self-made success, it was a girl’s storybook playland. But when a monsoon hits, her father leaves, and her mother’s terrible lover takes the reins, Cinelle’s fantastical childhood turns toward tyranny she could never have imagined. Formerly a home worthy of magazines and lavish parties, Mansion Royale becomes a dangerous shell of the splendid palace it had once been.

Told with a lyrical, almost-dreamlike voice as intoxicating as the moonflowers and orchids that inhabit this world, Monsoon Mansion is a harrowing yet triumphant coming-of-age memoir exploring the dark, troubled waters of a family’s rise and fall from grace in the Philippines. It would take a young warrior to survive it.

Cinelle Barnes is an essayist, memoirist, and educator with a BA in media studies in journalism from Hunter College and a master of fine arts in creative writing from Converse College. She is a fellow of the Kundiman Creative Nonfiction Intensive at Fordham University and the Voices of the Nations Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, a founding member of the C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference, and a presenter-member for the Creative Writing Studies Organization. Her writing has appeared in Literary Hub, Skirt, Hub City Press’s online anthology, and TAYO Literary Magazine, among others.

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