by Natalka Burian
Bright lights, big trouble
Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak and Judy Gregerson’s Bad Girls Club will relate to this story about a girl traumatized by her brilliant mother’s serious mental illness. Like a grown-up Eloise from the picture book, the main character, Van, lives in an upscale casino in glitzy Las Vegas, giving readers entree into a crazy world that few ever get to see. Based on real life events witnessed by the author, a harrowing look at the dangers of self-help cults that promise insight and instead deliver destruction.
With her mother, a brilliant businesswoman with fragile mental health, Van arrives in Las Vegas at the Silver Saddle casino, where Alex, a college student, is assigned to “babysit” her. Van is used to having to land on her feet, because her mother and her surrogate grandmother move from city to city all the time like corporate gypsies, but Alex introduces Van, a talented musician, to a group where her guitar skills may shine. But just as she’s about to play her first gig, her mother is lured in by a con man promising a “vision quest” in Arizona, and Van must go on the road to find and save her mom.
North American publisher: Merit Press, June 2017
Foreign rights contact: Allison Devereux, Wolf Literary Services
Film/TV rights contact: Rachel Crawford, Wolf Literary Services
Readers … will be enthralled by Burian’s eerie depictions of the Sedona community and left pondering the deep emotional complexities of parent-child relationships.”—Kirkus Reviews
Welcome to the Slipstream is a beautifully authentic story about growing up and learning the one inescapable truth we all come to know in the end: that we are both doomed and blessed to be indelibly marked by the people who love us.”—Louisa Luna, author of Brave New Girl
Welcome to the Slipstream had me from the get-go. From the incredible cast of characters to Burian’s sharp prose, this debut novel was impossible to put down. Gorgeous and complicated, this is a book you won’t soon forget.” —Jessica Valenti, New York Times bestselling author of Sex Object
At its heart, Welcome to the Slipstream is about mother and daughter relationships, and what it truly means to save someone.”—Sandy Hall, author of A Little Something Different