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  • Date: February 18
  • Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm PT

Book Party for Alexander Chee’s The Queen of the Night

Alexander Chee.M. Sharkey-2Alexander Chee, a Whiting Award–winner, will read from his much-touted second novel, The Queen of the Night, which follows an opera singer in Second Empire Paris who finds that the role she is cast for in a new opera is based on her past. Karen Maeda Allman of Elliott Bay Book Company will conduct a Q&A.

The book was named one of the most anticipated titles of 2016 by EW, Huffington Post, BBC, Bustle, The Millions, Flavorwire, Book Riot, Brooklyn Magazine, and Bookish.

He’ll be available to sign books—provided by Elliott Bay Book Company—after the event.

The event will be $5 at the door, but please RSVP here to let us know you’re coming! [gravityform id=”9″ title=”false” description=”true”]


“The Second French Empire comes alive in the beautiful story of a courtesan-turned Parisian opera star.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Drama and intrigue ensue in this utterly engrossing novel about opera, obsession, and the secrets we keep from others. You won’t want to miss this.”—Bookish

Queen of the Night traffics in secrets, betrayal, intrigue, glitz, and grit. And if you can judge a book by its cover, this one’s a real killer.”—The Millions

About Alexander Chee

ALEXANDER CHEE won a Whiting Award for his first novel, Edinburgh, and is a recipient of the NEA fellowship in fiction and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Ledig House, and Civitella Ranieri. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, and on NPR.


Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer’s chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her, one wants to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all.

As she mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. In order to survive, she transformed herself from hippodrome rider to courtesan, from empress’s maid to debut singer, all the while weaving a complicated web of romance, obligation, and political intrigue.

Featuring a cast of characters drawn from history, The Queen of the Night follows Lilliet as she moves ever closer to the truth behind the mysterious opera and the role that could secure her reputation — or destroy her with the secrets it reveals.