Join us Friday, November 10th to hear author Céline Keating speak about her new novel The Stark Beauty of Last Things, in conversation with Alice Elliot Dark
This event is free and open to the public!
The Stark Beauty of Last Things is set in Montauk, the far reaches of the famed Hamptons, an area under looming threat from a warming climate and overdevelopment. Now outsider Clancy, a thirty-six-year-old claims adjuster scarred by his orphan childhood, has inherited an unexpected legacy: the power to decide the fate of Montauk’s last parcel of undeveloped land.
Everyone in town has a stake in the outcome, among them Julienne, an environmentalist and painter fighting to save the landscape that inspires her art; Theresa, a bartender whose trailer park home is jeopardized by coastal erosion; and Molly and Billy, who are struggling to hold onto their property against pressure to sell. When a forest fire breaks out, Clancy comes under suspicion for arson, complicating his efforts to navigate competing agendas for the best uses of the land and to find the healing and home he has always longed for.
Told from multiple points of view, The Stark Beauty of Last Things explores our connection to nature—and what we stand to lose when that connection is severed.
Céline Keating is an award-winning writer formerly of New York City and now living in Bristol, Rhode Island. She is the author of two novels, Layla (2011), a Huffington Post featured title, and the award-winning Play for Me (2015).
Céline’s short fiction has been published in many literary magazines, including Appearances, Echoes, Emry’s Journal, Mount Hope, The North Stone Review, Prairie Schooner, and the Santa Clara Review. Her short story “Home” received the first-place 2014 Hackney Award for Short Fiction. An excerpt from her upcoming novel received the 2021 First Place award in fiction at the Tucson Festival of Books.
A student of classical guitar, she is a regular contributor to guitar review site Minor7th.com. Her music journalism and other articles have appeared in Acoustic Guitar, Coastal Living, Guitar World, and Poets & Writers magazines. Céline is also the co-editor of On Montauk, A Literary Celebration.
Céline grew up in Queens, New York. She earned a Masters in Creative Writing from City College, CUNY. For many years a resident of Montauk, New York, she serves on the board of environmental organization Concerned Citizens of Montauk.
Alice Elliott Dark is the author of the novels Fellowship Point and Think of England, and two collections of short stories, In The Gloaming and Naked to the Waist. Her work has appeared in, among others, The New Yorker, Harper's, DoubleTake, Ploughshares, A Public Space, Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O.Henry Awards, and has been translated into many languages. "In the Gloaming," a story, was chosen by John Updike for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories of The Century and was made into films by HBO and Trinity Playhouse. Her non-fiction reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many anthologies. She is a recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Associate Professor at Rutgers-Newark in the English department and the MFA program.