Mary Otis Presents Her New Novel "Burst"

Join us Thursday April 6th when author MARY OTIS comes to Mrs. Dalloway's to read, discuss, and sign her debut novel Burst, which explores the relationship complexities between mothers and daughters, the desire to escape, and the longing to connect. Burst is a powerful story about how we become—and unbecome—our mothers, how we absorb the past, and how we burst into our own futures. Mary will will be joined in conversation by LAURA COGAN and will also sign copies of her book at the end of the event.

To attend this free event, you must sign up on Eventbrite or contact us at the store prior to the presentation. Walk-ins cannot be accommodated.

Viva has always found ways to manage her mother’s impulsive, eccentric, and addictive personality. She’s had to—for her entire life, it has always been Viva and Charlotte against the world. After accidentally discovering an innate ability for dance, Viva chases her new passion with the same fervor with which her mother chases the bottle. Over the years, Viva’s talent becomes a ticket to a life of her own, and as she moves further away from home to pursue her dream, Charlotte struggles to make peace with her own past as a failed artist and the effects of her addiction. When tragedy strikes, Viva begins a downward spiral and must decide whether she will repeat her mother’s mistakes or finally take control of her life.

Told from interwoven perspectives with lyrical writing as deft as a choreographed dance, Burst excavates a mother-daughter relationship to reveal its gorgeous beating heart.

MARY OTIS is the author of the short story collection Yes, Yes, Cherries. Her fiction, essays, and poetry have been published in Best New American Voices, Electric Literature, Tin House, Zyzzyva, McSweeney's, Bennington Review, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, and numerous other literary journals and anthologies. She has taught fiction at UCLA and was a founding professor in the UC Riverside Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program. Originally from the Boston area, Mary lives in Los Angeles.

LAURA COGAN has been the Editor and Executive Director of ZYZZYVA for over 10 years. In that time, she has spearheaded a redesign of the print journal and two website redesigns; expanded the journal’s programming and circulation; developed the presence of visual arts in the journal; and championed the continued excellence of the journal’s content. She has been an invited speaker and panelist at a number of conferences and schools, including The Community of Writers, Saint Mary’s College, Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, Litquake, and LA Times Festival of Books. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. from New York University. In 2022, ZYZZYVA was awarded a Whiting Literary Magazine Prize.

THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is required. Registration ends at 4:30 pm on April 6th.

BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.

DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.

WALK-INS will be accommodated only if space allows

WE ASK that attendees arrive between 6:45 and 7:00 PM for the event.

Thursday, April 6, 2023 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore
2904 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
Burst By Mary Otis Cover Image
ISBN: 9798985282825
Availability: Most titles are on our shelves or available within 1-5 days.
Published: Zibby Books - April 4th, 2023