Hybrid | Shae: Mesha Maren in conversation with Ellen Birkett Morris

image shows the cover of Shae and the headshots of Mesha Maren and Ellen Birkett Morris
Tuesday, May 28, 2024 - 6:00pm

Mesha Maren shares her new novel, Shae, joined by Ellen Birkett Morris, author of Beware the Tall GrassThis is a hybrid event with limited in-store seating and the option to attend online.

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.


Shae A queer coming-of-age novel about addiction, belonging, and loving a place that doesn’t always love you back.
When sixteen-year-old Shae meets Cam, who is new to their small town in West Virginia, she thinks she has found someone who is everything she has ever wanted in a companion. The two become fast friends, and then more. And when Shae ends up pregnant, Cam begins a different transition—trying on clothes that Shae can no longer fit into and using female pronouns. Shae tries to be fully supportive as Cam becomes the person she wants and needs to be.

After a traumatic C-section and the birth of their daughter, Eva, Shae is given opioids to manage the intense pain. During the first year of Eva’s life, Shae’s dependence shifts from pain management to addiction, and her days begin to revolve around getting more pills. In the heart of West Virginia, opioids are dispensed as freely as candy, and Shae is just one of many to fall victim to addiction. Meanwhile, as Cam continues to transition, she embraces new relationships and faces the reality of being a trans woman in rural America.
Shae is as much about these two young women as it is about the home they both love despite its limitations. Following the acclaimed Sugar Run and Perpetual West, this is Mesha Maren’s most intense and intimate novel yet.

Mesha Maren is the author of the novels Sugar Run and Perpetual West (Algonquin Books). Her short stories and essays can be read in Tin HouseThe Oxford American, The Guardian, CrazyhorseTriquarterly, The Southern Review, Ecotone, Sou’westerHobart, Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial, and elsewhere. She was the recipient of the 2015 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, a 2014 Elizabeth George Foundation grant, an Appalachian Writing Fellowship from Lincoln Memorial University, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Ucross Foundation. She was the 2018-2019 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is an Associate Professor of the Practice of English at Duke University.

Beware the Tall Grass weaves the stories of the Sloans, a modern family grappling with their young son Charlie’s troubling memories of a past life as a soldier in Vietnam, and Thomas Boone, a young man caught up in the drama of mid-60s America who is sent to Vietnam. Eve Sloan struggles as a mother to make sense of Charlie’s increasing references to war, and her attempts to get to the bottom of Charlie’s past life memories threaten her marriage, while Thomas is challenged with loss and first love, before being thrust into combat and learning what matters most.

Ellen Birkett Morris is the author of Beware the Tall Grass, winner of the Donald L. Jordan Award for Literary Excellence, and Lost Girls: Short Stories, winner of the Pencraft Award. Morris is also the author of Abide and Surrender, poetry chapbooks. Her fiction has appeared in Shenandoah, Antioch Review, Notre Dame Review, and South Carolina Review, among other journals. Morris is a recipient of an Al Smith Fellowship for her fiction from the Kentucky Arts Council.


This event includes a book signing. If you would like a signed book but can't attend in person, you may order a signed copy online below. If you would like to have your book personalized, please order online or call the store at least two hours before the start of the event. When ordering online, use the comments field to provide a name for personalization, e.g. “To Carla.” NOTE: We do our best to get books personalized when requested but personalization is not guaranteed.

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!

Event address: 
Virtual or in-store option
Books: 
Pre-Order Now Badge
Shae: A Novel By Mesha Maren Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781643755663
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Algonquin Books - May 21st, 2024

Beware the Tall Grass By Ellen Birkett Morris Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9798988732105
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Columbus State University Press - March 15th, 2024

Perpetual West By Mesha Maren Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781643753409
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - January 17th, 2023

Sugar Run: A Novel By Mesha Maren Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781616209810
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - October 8th, 2019

$0.00
SKU: x672389
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