Hybrid | Ab(solutely) Normal: Book Launch with Nora Shalaway Carpenter and Rocky Callen

Image shows photos of Nora Shalaway Carpenter and Rocky Callen and the front cover of Ab(solutely) Normal
Tuesday, April 11, 2023 - 6:00pm

This is a hybrid event, meaning there is an option to attend virtually and a limited number of seats are available to attend the event in-store. The event is free but registration is required for both in-person and virtual attendance. 

Please click here to register for the VIRTUAL event. The link required to attend will be emailed to registrants prior to the event. 

Please click here to register for the IN-PERSON event. Note the important event details on the RSVP form. 

Click here to preorder Signed Copies of Ab(solutely) Normal! 

If you decide to attend and to purchase books, we ask that you purchase from Malaprop's. When you do this you make it possible for us to continue hosting author events and you keep more dollars in our community. You may also support our work by purchasing a gift card or making a donation of any amount below. Thank you!


Channeling their own experiences, sixteen exceptional authors subvert mental health stereotypes in a powerful and uplifting collection of fiction. A teen activist wrestles with protest-related anxiety and PTSD. A socially anxious vampire learns he has to save his town by (gulp) working with people. As part of her teshuvah, a girl writes letters to the ex-boyfriend she still loves, revealing that her struggle with angry outbursts is related to PMDD. A boy sheds uncontrollable tears but finds that in doing so he's helping to enable another's healing. In this inspiring, unflinching, and hope-filled mixed-genre collection, sixteen diverse and notable authors draw on their own lived experiences with mental health conditions to create stunning works of fiction that will uplift and empower you, break your heart and stitch it back together stronger than before. Through powerful prose, verse, and graphics, the characters in this anthology defy stereotypes as they remind readers that living with a mental health condition doesn't mean that you're defined by it. Each story is followed by a note from its author to the reader, and comprehensive back matter includes bios for the contributors as well as a collection of relevant resources.

With contributions by:
Mercedes Acosta * Karen Jialu Bao * James Bird * Rocky Callen * Nora Shalaway Carpenter * Alechia Dow * Patrick Downes * Anna Drury * Nikki Grimes * Val Howlett * Jonathan Lenore Kastin * Sonia Patel * Marcella Pixley * Isabel Quintero * Ebony Stewart * Francisco X. Stork

Local author Nora Shalaway Carpenter is the contributing editor of the critically acclaimed anthology Rural Voices: 15 Authors Challenge Assumptions About Small-Town America, which was named an NPR Best Book of the Year, A YALSA Best Fiction YA selection, a TAYSHAS list selection, and a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, among numerous other honors. Her debut YA novel The Edge of Anything was named a Bank Street Best Book, a Kirkus Reviews Best book, and A Mighty Girl Best Book of the Year.  Her next novel, Fault Lines, is forthcoming September 2023. 

Rocky Callen is the author of the YA novel A Breath Too Late, which was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Young Adult Book of the Year and a Chicago Public Library Best Book and was featured in The Mujerista's 2020 list of the ten best young adult books by Latinx authors. A former behavioral coach and a passionate mental health advocate, she founded the HoldOn2Hope Project, which unites creatives in suicide prevention. Rocky Callen lives outside of Washington, DC.

Event address: 
Virtual or in-person attendance option